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Wednesday, January 25, 2012


  Here is a great way for my father and I to learn a little bit of Parsha each week, even though we live far from each other. ( I like the play on words of Abba in the word Shabbat and Imabba meaning "with Abba" and Ima Abba written together!  Thanks Abba and Ima :-)!
In this week's parsha it says:
Cquote2.svg  וַיְהִי חֹשֶׁךְ אֲפֵלָה בְּכָל אֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים. לֹא רָאוּ אִישׁ אֶת אָחִיו וְלֹא קָמוּ אִישׁ מִתַּחְתָּיו, שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים. Cquote1.svg
שמות, י׳, כ״א-כ״ג
"There was a thick darkness throughout the land of Egypt for three days:  they saw not one another, neither did anyone move from their place, for three days..."  The greatest darkness that there can be is when לא ראו איש את אחיו. When a fellow Jew is in need and-  לא קמו איש מתחתיו, no one does anything to help him out, and turns away, that is the greatest darkness.
This is a lesson that all of Am Yisrael should be learning.  Especially in Bet Shemesh.  Where are our fellow brothers?  Why are people not helping each other?  Where is the Achdut???? Let us hope that people will finally see the light.
 Happy Anniversary to my wonderful parents!  May you have many more wonderful years together ad meah veesrim!


  • Hashem brings another two plagues on the Mitzrim: locusts and darkness.
  • Hashem tells Moshe of his plan for the last plague: Makat Bechorot, death of the first born. He explains to Moshe that this will push Pharoah to let Bnei Yisrael go free.
  • Moshe and Aharon learn about the mitzvah of Rosh Chodesh from Hashem and teach it to Bnei Yisrael.
  • Bnei Yisrael slaughter lambs to use as a Korban Pesach, and use the blood to mark their doorposts so Hashem passes over the Jewish houses as He kills all the first born Egyptian boys.
  • At midnight, Hashem passed over Egypt and killed all the firstborn Egyptian boys. Pharoah panics and rushes to find Moshe to tell him that the Jews are free to go and that they should leave immediately.
  • Bnei Yisrael left Egypt the next morning and left with lots of gold and silver and cattle. They traveled to Ramses and Sukkot, until they reached the Red Sea.
  • Hashem commands Bnei Yisrael to sanctify all the firstborn males, in remembrance of makat bechorot


In this week’s Parsha, Parshat Bo,
There are a lot of things we know.
Pharaoh said “no” as was predicted,
And then three more plagues Hashem inflicted.
First came the locusts, it destroyed the crop,
The Mitzriyim screamed, please make this stop!
And once it stopped, without a doubt,
He did not allow the Jews to go out.
And then came darkness no one could see,
But the Jews all saw just perfectly.
Pharaoh was stubborn he said o.k.,
He will let the Jews out right away.
He then said no, so each first born male will die,
The Mitzriyim all began to cry.
Just let them go, and do it quick,
That last makka seemed to do the trick.
There is a date and a certain holiday,
The Jews made something quickly and were on their way.
Do you know the answer, do you know this clue,
You are a Parsha Wiz then if you do.


At midnight of the appointed night, the last plague falls upon the Mitzriyim, with every non-Jewish firstborn dying, including Pharaoh's own son. Pharaoh quickly sends the Jewish people from Egypt. The Bnei Israel travel forth in a hurry with the great wealth they have just been given by the Egyptians.
Give each child an empty plastic bag.  Without warning them, tell them they have one minute to fill it up with what they think is important.  When they come back to the table, have each one show what they placed in their bag.  Each person can also make up a story with the items in their bag.  See how many different stories you could come up with, with the same items.  Discuss how Bnei Yisrael left in such a hurry.  How does it feel?  What would you take with you if you had to leave in a hurry?  Why? What would you leave behind?

    Blindfold each child and spin them around.  Have them try to walk around the room without banging into anything.  Discuss how it feels like to be in darkness.

· Look at the moon this week.  Describe the different phases of the moon and how it pertains to Rosh Chodesh.


Korban Pesach:
What you will need:
1.     Cookie dough
2.     Cookie cutter in the shape of a sheep
3.     Small rectangular cake
4.     Long thin licorice
5.     4 round wafer cookies
·   Make Sheep shaped cookies.  Add chocolate chip to make an eye.
·   Once they are cool, you could add marshmallows to them (using marshmallow fluff to stick it together) to make it look like sheep skin.
·  Place the rectangular cake on a plate or covered cookie sheet.
·   Place the round wafer cookie on each side to make it look like a bedpost.
·   Lean the sheep cookie against the rectangular cake and tie a licorice piece around its neck.
·   Tie the other end to the bedpost.
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups sugar
5 eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup water
1 cup orange juice
zest of 1 orange, minced
3 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Chocolate paste:
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons warm vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease two 9 by 5-inch loaf pans
Prepare the chocolate paste by placing the cocoa and oil in a small bowl
and mix well. Add a drop or more of oil if the mixture appears too thick.
For the cake, in a large bowl, blend the oil with the sugar , scraping the bowl often.  Blend in the eggs and stir in the vanilla, water, orange juice, and zest.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add to the wet ingredients.

Pour one third of the batter into a smaller bowl. Stir the chocolate paste to make a chocolate batter and add the chocolate chips. Pour alternating portions of white and chocolate batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the cakes for 35 to 40minutes. Cool in the pan for 15 to 20 minutes.
Seder Plate:

What you will need:  

1.     10 inch round cake.
2.     Frosting
3.     Fondant or paper muffin holders
4.     Bone candies
5.     Candies that look like eggs
6.     Praline candies
7.     Green candies
8.     Marshmallows
9.     Green candies
    ·        Frost the round cake. 
·        Either take 6 paper cups and place it around the cake or make the holders out of fondant.
·        Your Seder plate is now ready.  Add each of the candies to their place.  Put the egg candies- symbolizing the beitza  on the top right, the bone candies- symbolizing the zroah on the left and so on.  Use your imagination….

Thought of the week:

In Parshat Bo, Hashem commands the Jews in Egypt and all future generations to fulfill the mitzvah of the Korban Pesach. The Ramban discusses the significance of using a lamb for the Korban Pesach. He explains that when Hashem punishes a nation, he also destroys their god. This helps teach the nations of the world that Hashem is the true God. Therefore, since the lamb was the god of Egypt, Hashem commanded the Jews to use the lamb for the mitzvah of Korban Pesach. It is also no coincidence that Hashem vanquished the Egyptians during the zodiac of aries (whose symbol is a ram) since that is the time of the year when their god was at its strongest. Rashi explains that this is why Hashem destroyed Sdom at daybreak when both the sun and the moon were present since both were worshipped by the people of Sdom. Looking back at history can help strengthen our belief in Hashem which is why the Torah writes:    "זכר ימות עולם בינו שנות דור ודור שאל אביך ויגדך זקניך ויאמרו לך".

Have a wonderful Shabbat and a great Chodesh!  Ruchie


  1. Hi Ruchie--I just want to tell you that my kids and I love your email each week....great ideas.
    Thank you and tizku l'mitzvos.

  2. love it!!! I learn so much every week! looking forward for next week's..