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Retelling the Story

WEEKLY SCRIPTURE READING

Torah Portion: Parashat Bo (“Go in, Enter!”)

Shabbat: Jan. 28, 2023 / Shevat 6, 5783

Torah: Exod. 10:1 13:16

Prophets: Jer. 46:13-28

New Covenant: Luke 22:7-30 ; 1 Cor 11:20-34


TODAY’S PRAYER OF AGREEMENT

The Our Father

“In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,Hallowed be Your name.Your kingdom come.Your will be doneOn earth as it is in heaven.Give us this day our daily bread.And forgive us our debts,As we forgive our debtors.And do not lead us into temptation,But deliver us from the evil one.For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you”.

Matthew 6:9-14

 

In our Torah portion this week we are commanded to retell "in the hearing of your son and your grandson" how the LORD overthrew the arrogance of the Egyptians and performed wonders to deliver us" (Exod. 10:2). This commandment is the basis of the Passover haggadah (i.e., הַגָּדָה, "telling"), the "oral tradition" of our faith, when we personally retell the story from generation to generation so that the spirit of the message is not lost. We participate in the seder to make it "our own story," a part of who we are. Therefore b'khol-dor vador: "Every Jew must consider himself to have been personally redeemed from Egypt." Retelling the story of the exodus enables us to "know that I am the LORD" (Exod. 10:2). We recall the words, bishvili nivra ha'olam – "For my sake was this world created," while we also recall the words, anokhi afar ve'efer – "I am but dust and ashes." When we retell the story of the great redemption, we strengthen our faith and better know the LORD.


The LORD admonishes that the story of our redemption should be "as a sign on your hand and as a memorial (זִכָּרוֹן) between your eyes, that the Torah of the LORD may be in your mouth" (Exod. 13:9). We are instructed to "remember" (זָכַר) over and over again because our disease, our sickness of heart, induces us to forget how we were enslaved in the house of bondage. We must consciously remember and never forget that only by means of God's strong hand (בְּיָד חֲזָקָה) are we ever made free (John 8:36).


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