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Torah Talk for Parashat Bo

January 13, 2016 by Sharon Freundel (Community)

This week’s parasha tells the story of the last three plagues, the preparations that the Bnei Yisrael need to make in order to leave Mitzrayim, and the actual exodus itself.

There is an unusual and unexpected verse right in the middle of the section when God relates to Moshe what will happen during the plague of the slaying of the first-borns. Chapter 11, verse 7 says, “But against any of the children of Israel a dog shall not sharpen his tongue, against human or beast; that you may know how Hashem puts a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.”

The classic commentators don’t seem to be bothered by this strange statement. Their only issue is whether yecheratz, “sharpen,” refers to barking or biting. Perhaps this is because they were aware of the history of dogs in Egypt. Read more >