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Rabbi Leana Moritt
 
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Denying conversions is denying the Divine voice - Parashat Bo

Published: 23 January 2010

This is the cliffhanger. In Parashat Bo we witness the last three plagues aimed to shake us loose from our bondage; they are afflictions so palpable and devastating they resonate across the ages and through layers of meaning. These three — locusts, darkness, and death — force us to take shelter and comfort with one another during these last moments before the Exodus and establish us, our families, and homes as uniquely woven into a Jewish covenant. Indeed, we are commanded to do so (Ex. 12:7, 22). We hold our breath and continue to be bound together as a people by the Divine Presence as we cross the Sea of Reeds toward Sinai in our next two parshiot.

But here in Bo, we find ourselves in our most formative stage as a people, huddled together in a swirl of faith, courage, and fear. Yet hurled out into our newfound freedom, we immediately find that an integral part of our journey is embracing the erev rav (mixed multitude) (Ex. 12:38) who join with us along the way. So it has been from the very beginning of our peoplehood.

 
 
 
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