INSIGHT: Parsha MathWhat’s in a Name?

Plague #8: Locusts

Plague #8: Locusts

Even after suffering through 7 horrible plagues, Paraoh was still stubborn. Despite Moshe and Aharon’s pleas to let Bnei Yisrael go, whenever the plagues stopped, Paraoh would change his mind, 

And so, HaShem commanded Moshe to warn Paraoh of an eighth plague – 

Moshe and Aharon went to the palace and said to the king, “If you still refuse to let my people go, HaShem will send a terrible plague, the likes of which neither you nor your ancestors have ever experienced. Swarms upon swarms of locusts will cover the entire land of Egypt. There will be so many, you won’t be able to see the ground! And they’ll be hungry, too. They’ll eat the leaves of the trees, the grass from the ground and the crops in the fields. These flying critters will destroy whatever remained from “The Plague of Hail.”

Paraoh’s servants, exhausted and starving from the previous plagues ran to the king, “Oh, Your Majesty, with all due respect, it is clear to us that Egypt is about to be completely destroyed! We are begging Your Highness to let the Jewish men go and worship their G-d.” 

Paraoh had to admit that their concerns made sense. He sent a messenger to bring Moshe and Aharon back to the palace. “Gentlemen,” he began in a soft, kind voice, “I have finally decided to let you go and serve your G-d. Now, tell me, who exactly will be going with you?”

“Everyone!” replied Moshe. “With our youth and with our elders, we shall go. With our sons, with our daughters, with our sheep and with our cattle, we shall leave this land.”

Upon hearing Moshe’s response, Paraoh lost his patience. “What?! Totally unacceptable! Do you really expect me to let you all go?!” yelled Paraoh. “Children don’t bring sacrifices! Now take only your men and go serve your G-d!”

Within seconds Moshe and Aharon were driven out of the palace.

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Shazak insight

Parsha Math

The name of the Parsha is written with two letters in Hebrew – Beis and Aleph, which spell Bo. ב + א = בא

There is a secret message in the numerical value of these letters – Beis = 2; Aleph = 1. 

2+1 = 3, and 3 is the amount of plagues mentioned in Parshas Bo – Locusts, Darkness, and Death of the Firstborn!

Shazak insight

What’s in a Name?

אַרְבֶּה

“Arbeh,” the Hebrew name of this plague, means “locusts”. In Hebrew, “Arbeh” also means “many” (“I will make many,” to be precise).

Now for a play on words. Paraoh sought to prevent Bnei Yisrael from becoming “Arbeh” – “many.” 

His plan completely backfired! Bnei Yisrael became “arbeh” and “arbeh” – “many and many” – and the Egyptians were stricken with many “Arbeh” – many locusts! Oops.

SHAZAK
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Geared for Kids... Great for Adults!

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