Below is a collection of Parashat Bo resources created by The Lookstein Center staff or contributed to the site by Jewish educators.
This is a growing collection. Check back soon or write to us at email@example.com if you didn’t find what you’re looking for.
DISCUSSION AND REFLECTION QUESTIONS
Question #1: In Parashat Bo, we learn of the first mitzvah the Jewish people received as a nation – the commandment of Rosh Chodesh. The months would be counted according to the phases of the moon. As slaves in Egypt, their time was not their own and belonged to their masters. Now, as free people, they will declare when the month begins and will have the responsibility to use their time wisely. How can you best use your free time? Do you think you typically use your free time well? Why or why not?
Look inside the text (Shemot 12:2),
הַחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה לָכֶם רֹאשׁ חדָשִׁים רִאשׁוֹן הוּא לָכֶם לְחָדְשֵׁי הַשָּׁנָה – This month will mark for you the beginning of the months; it will be the first of the months of the year for you.
Question #2: Everyone loves stories! Can it be a mitzvah to tell a story? In Parashat Bo, we read about the importance of telling our children the story of the Exodus. Why do you think it’s important to tell the story to the children? Why isn’t it enough to read the story in the Torah reading in the synagogue? Do you think you’ll remember your family story and be able to tell your children one day?
Look inside the text (Shemot 13:8),
וְהִגַּדְתָּ לְבִנְךָ בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא לֵאמֹר בַּעֲבוּר זֶ֗ה עָשָׂה ה’ לִי בְּצֵאתִי מִמִּצְרָיִם – And you will explain to your son on that day, ‘It is because of what God did for me when I went free from Egypt.’
Question #3: With the Exodus, Jews were given their own calendar, which operates on a different system from that of other nations. Whereas all other nations have either solar or lunar calendars, the Jewish calendar is comprised of lunar months and solar years with a complex system of adjustments. What are the advantages of such a system? What does having a separate calendrical system do to the interaction between Jews and other nations? Is that a good or a bad thing?
Question #4: In ancient cultures, the firstborn was considered naturally superior to all his siblings and given the rule of the household. The Torah instructs that the firstborns, even of the animals, are holy and must be dedicated to God. Is the Torah trying to continue the ancient practices or disrupt them? Should there be a natural heir in every family, or is some other system of distribution more equitable? Does Judaism believe that certain individuals, by virtue of their birth, are considered superior?
LESSON PLANS AND ARTICLES
Breaking News from “The Egypt Times” – This lesson plan for middle school students includes writing newspaper articles describing key events that took place in the exodus of Egypt and can be adapted for a virtual classroom.