Every Shabbos generates its unique energy. That energy is reflected in the weekly Parsha. This week we read the Parsha of Bo, in which HaShem continues the process of the Exodus which began in last week’s Parsha. In an attempt to gain a taste of this Shabbos’s energy I would like to share a Zohar.

The Zohar asks why did HaShem use the word BO which means “to come to Pharoah” and not LECH which means “to go to Pharaoh”. The answer given is that BO is spelled beis alef, the beis is first letter of the Creation in the beginning of the Torah and the Alef is the first letter of the Aseres haDibros, Anochi. HaShem was telling Moshe that I am going to take My people from the beis of Breishis to the alef of the Anochi. They were going to come to Me from Breishis to Anochi.

To appreciate the answer to the Zohar’s question Rav Ahron Lopiansky explains that we must understand that there are two types of knowledge. To illustrate this let us compare a group of physicists who live in the 1850’s to fifth graders living in 2017. Someone presents the former with a blueprint of an airplane (that has never been invented) and they are asked if this machine could fly. After studying the draft of the machine and reviewing the relevant laws of physics they confirm that such a machine ought to be able to fly. Let us now show the latter an airplane and ask them if this machine can fly. Their answer will be an unequivocal YES!

Is this not amazing! The small children understand instinctively that a plane can fly and the scientists have to contemplate and consider before they answer. The distinction between the two types of knowledge is that the former is knowledge based on analysis and the second is experiential. The former may indicate a greater level of intelligence but the latter allows for greater reliance and application. The scientists will not board that plane until they see it fly successfully. The children will not hesitate a moment.

Before we experienced the Exodus, our awareness of HaShem was based on an intellectual analysis. HaShem was only evident through the genius of his creation. The deeper one looks into nature and science the greater that revelation is. The genius of nature and all her laws of physics which perpetuate the running of the universe proclaim loudly of the existence of a Creator. However, that proclamation is only an intellectual analysis it is not experiential.

Before HaShem delivered His people from the womb of Egypt He wanted them to have experiential knowledge of their Creator. He wanted to be their personal Director, He wanted to be their Father, He wanted us to be His beloved people. He wanted to  establish an eternal relationship with which He and His nation would travel together throughout all of history. Such a relationship required experiential knowledge. HaShem therefore told Moshe BO, take My people from their awareness of Me through Creation to a greater awareness by which they will experience Me in Anochi. The function of our Exodus was to take us from knowing Him from the beis of Breishis to the alef of Anochi.

How fortunate we are to be the people who know HaShem so intimately that we can rely upon Him, count on Him and know that He is always with us!

Have a wonderful Shabbos.


Paysach Diskind