January 30, 2020 / 4 Shevat, 5780 • Parshat Bo
Issue 599
Dedicated in loving memory of Mrs. Miriam Friedman


G-d told Moses to approach Pharaoh and warn him about the imminent eighth plague, a huge swarm of locusts that would decimate Egypt's extensive grain fields.

G-d told Moses, "come to Pharaoh."

Shemot 10:11

Coming Home

We would expect G-d to tell Moses to "go to Pharaoh" rather than to "come to Pharaoh." By saying "come to Pharaoh," G-s is teaching us how we should understand the Exodus from a broader perspective, including our personal process of redemption from our own states of "bondage" and "exile."

Redemption can only happen if we are "coming" rather than "going." Going somewhere implies that our home base is where we already are; we are simply visiting the place we are headed toward. Coming somewhere, in contrast, implies that we are moving our home -- that we are going were we are headed with our whole being.

Thus, when we free ourselves of the bondage of materiality by communing with G-d in Torah study or prayer, we should be sure to "come home," immersing ourselves in the words and ideas completely, rather than just "going" there for a visit. In this way, our study and prayer can affect us and change us; it can take us out of our personal Egypt.

Moreover, going out of our personal Egypt hastens the advent of the collective redemption of the Jewish people and all humanity, as well.

From Kehot's

Daily Wisdom #2