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Parshat Bo 5772

Often to understand the current parsha it is necessary to look back in the Torah.

Earlier this week I raised questions about the Jews borrowing objects from the Egyptians. The obvious problem was that the Jews were leaving Egypt and therefore could not possibly return the borrowed objects. Isn’t that a significant ethical lapse?


May I Please Borrow a Cup of Sugar?

It’s a sure fire way to meet your new neighbors. Walk next door with a measuring cup in your hand and say, “Hi. We just moved in. I want to bake cookies, but I can’t find the sugar. May I please borrow a cup of sugar?”

Of course, they’ll say yes and you are well on your way to forming a new friendship.

That’s great when you’re new in a community. Does the same thing work when you are leaving?


Why 1 Serpent is Better Than 100

This week’s parsha reminds me of the kid’s game rock-paper-scissors.

When I was growing up in Los Angeles, here is how we described the winner of each round:

  • Rock breaks scissors
  • Scissors cuts paper
  • Paper covers rock

No matter what choice you make, you might win or you might lose. Sure, if you both make the same choice, then the game is a draw. But I always played to win :-).


What Does a Serpent Prove?

Parshat Va’eira 5772

The question is really quite simple.

Suppose I want to prove to you that I am the best at something. For an easy example, I claim to be the best at kicking a football.

We go out to a field and I kick a football 200 feet. You then call over five other people who all proceed to do exactly the same thing.

On what basis can I maintain my claim to be the best?