Daily Chumash Wednesday, Bo: The Jewish people are commanded their first set of Mitzvos



  1. Moshe warns Pharaoh of Makas Bechoros:
  • [During the last meeting of Moshe with Pharaoh] Moshe told Pharaoh that Hashem said that at approximately midnight He will go amidst Egypt and smite every first born in the land of Egypt to death, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who is the prince until the firstborn of the slave woman, as well as all firstborn animals. There will be a great outcry in the entire land of Egypt, of which the liking there never was and will never be seen again. However, the Jewish people will remain safe and a dog will not bark against man or animal, so that you see that I have distinguished between the Jewish people and Egypt. Your servants will then all come down and bow to me asking us to leave, and afterwards we shall leave. Moshe left Pharaoh’s presence in burning anger.
  • Hashem told Moshe that Pharaoh would not listen to him in order so He can increase His wonders in the land of Egypt. Moshe and Aaron performed all these miracles before Pharaoh, and Hashem strengthened his heart and he did not let them go.


  1. The Jewish people are commanded their first set of Mitzvos:
  • Kiddush Hachodesh: Hashem told Moshe and Aaron to tell the Jewish people that this month is to be for them the first of the months of the year.
  • The Pesach lamb: Tell all the Jewish people, that on the 10th of the month they are to take for themselves a lamb/kid, having one lamb/kid per household. If the family is too small to consume an entire lamb/kid, then they should join with another family, counting each person in proportion to the amount he eats. The lamb/kid must be male, within its first year, and unblemished, and it may be taken either from the sheep or goats. The lamb/kid is to be guarded by you until the 14th day, and on the 14th day it is then to be slaughtered in the afternoon by all of the Jewish people.
  • Placing the blood by the doorposts: They shall take from the blood [of the sacrifice] and place it by both doorposts, and on the lintel of the doorposts, of the door of the house that they will be eating the sacrifice in.
  • Roasting and eating the lamb: The Pesach lamb/kid is to be eaten that night. It is to be roasted and eaten with Matzos and bitter herbs. It may not be eaten raw, or cooked in water, but rather must be roasted over fire. It is to be roasted in full, its head with its legs and its innards. Its meat may not remain past morning, and whatever does remain must be burnt in the fire. It shall be eaten in a haste, with your loins girded and your shoes on your feet.
  • Hashem will see the blood and Passover the houses: Hashem said: I will pass through Egypt that night and smite all the firstborn Egyptians, from man to animal, including the deities of Egypt. The blood on the doorpost shall serve as a sign that you are there, and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and you shall not be smitten while I strike Egypt.
  • Celebrating Pesach: This day shall be for you as a remembrance, and you shall celebrate it as a festival for Hashem for all generations.
  • Chametz and Matzah: You shall eat Matzah for seven days, although on the first day you shall eliminate Chametz from your homes. Whoever eats Chametz between the first and seventh day, his soul will be cut off from the Jewish people. The Matzos must be guarded, and the Matzos are to be eaten from the evening after the 14th day until the 21st day of the month. For seven days, Chametz may not be found in your homes.
  • Melacha: On the first and seventh day it shall be a calling of holiness, and you shall therefore not do any Melacha on that day with exception to food related matters.

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