Bo: Should We Stay or Should We Go?

Into the Verse - A Parsha Podcast

Jan. 24, 2023

Parshat Bo is where the Exodus really happens. God sends the last plagues and tells the Israelites to prepare for liberation, and on the night of the tenth plague, Pharaoh finally gives the order: Leave now. But just when the Israelites are gearing up to get out of Egypt, there are a few details that seem to slow the action down. For one thing, there are God’s instructions: “Get your shoes on, be ready to leave… but don’t walk out of your houses!” And for another, God specifically picks a longer road out of Egypt, because the other one is “nearby.” What should we make of these strange facts?

In this episode, Ari Levisohn takes a closer look and discovers surprising parallels with an earlier Biblical story. There was another nighttime escape from an evil place, another moment when people had to get ready to leave. And it turns out that when we read these two stories together, we learn something new – not only about the Exodus, but about the meaning of liberation itself.

Want even more textual parallels? You can find Ari's full chart here.

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