Shabbat Parshat Bo 5776–Adat Shalom Torah Study—Is Darkness a Matter of Perspective? What Is Yours?

Did you ever have or anticipate a day that made you feel like not getting out of bed—or not even lifting off the covers? Have you ever felt paralyzed by circumstances beyond your control?

As we approach the climactic departure of B’nai Yisrael from Pharaoh’s bondage, Egypt is first plunged into a state of darkness. The Torah tells us that this was a special darkness. It was not merely the absence of light. This darkness was palpable. It could be felt. What was this darkness?

The modern commentators in the Eitz Chayim Chumash offer an interesting insight. They ask if the darkness might have actually been a deep depression, an overwhelming sadness.

Considering the afflictions of the other plagues and with Pharaoh’s hardened heart—no end to the suffering in sight, there truly was cause for depression.

The Torah tells us that the darkness was so intense that the people could not even get up or move around. They realized that their comforts and freedoms depended on the enslavement and suffering of others. The sense of shame for their deeds in causing so much suffering to others, the sense of helplessness and hopelessness in the face of God’s wrath and the realization that they have been worshipping false and non-existent gods for all those years probably gave good reason for the average Egyptian to not feel like getting out of bed.

This Shabbat morning, we hope that you will and get out of bed and find your way to our Torah Study.

At 9:45 a.m. tomorrow, we learn with Dr. Melissa Ser. Come Shabbat morning and be enlightened. Come as you are. Stay as long as you u like.

Shabbat Shalom,

Paul

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