Printed from ChabadGreensboro.com

Bo

Bo

 Email

Liberating Your Child

This week's Torah reading, the parshah of Bo (Exodus 10-13), describes the last plagues visited upon the Egyptians, culminating with the resulting exodus of the Jewish people. The parshah's name, Bo ("Come"), is derived from the reading's opening verse, in which G‑d instructs Moses to "Come to Pharaoh..." to warn him of the upcoming plagues and to demand that he release the Jewish nation.

The name of each Torah section conveys the primary message and the common theme of its narrative.

Why, then, is Bo not titled "Freedom," "The Exodus," or some other name connoting the extraordinary event of the exodus of the Jewish people from their many decades of servitude in Egypt?

In fact, the name, "Come [to Pharaoh]," seems to remind us of the very opposite—of the Jewish people's slavery. The Jewish leader needed to petition Pharaoh and appeal to him to release his people from their misery. Why should the Parshah's name seemingly reflect the antithesis of the joyous liberation it describes?

Commentaries also question the usage of the term "come to Pharaoh" instead of the more appropriate form, "go to Pharaoh."

But perhaps, hidden within this curious phrase is a psychological key to help us help our children to find liberating solutions to their problems and challenges.


 

The Zohar explains that by instructing Moses to "come to Pharaoh," G‑d was inviting Moses to confront the essence of the Egyptian ruler. G‑d is telling Moses to enter into Pharaoh, in the sense of entering deep within the mind and character of Egypt's arch-idol.

In order to liberate the children of Israel from the shackles of their servitude, it was not sufficient for Moses, their leader, to merely "go" to Pharaoh and have a peripheral vision of this leader's strength. Moses needed to fully confront Pharaoh within Pharaoh's "home base." He needed to enter into Pharaoh's mindset, into the bowels of his psyche, into the innards of his consciousness. He needed to truly comprehend the root of his power and the basis of his tenacious, tyrannical hold on the Jewish people.

This was the first step to liberation. Without this pivotal action, the rest of the parshah of Bo--the great, joyous and miraculous liberation of the Jewish people—could not have occurred.


 

Moses was the "shepherd" and the ultimate "parent" of our people, tending to our every need, large and small. His love for us was like a parent's unconditional outpouring of love to his child.

So Moses' conduct can demonstrates to us the necessary first step in helping our own children through their own respective enslavements, constrictions or challenges.

Do we dismiss our child's issues as insignificant? Do we reassure him that this "little" incident will pass, without validating what he is experiencing in this moment? Do we try to distract him from his problems without trying to truly understand and deal with them?

As parents, we all want to help our children. We want to free them from the shackles of their problems, fears and insecurities.

The Torah teaches us that to do so, we must "come to Pharaoh."

Enter into your child's mindset. Intimately experience his pain, his frustrations and his insecurities. Explore his feelings and validate the difficulty of his challenges. Survey the boundaries of what is suffocating his growth. Immerse yourself within the confines of what is oppressing him. Picture his monsters and feel his fears. Face his obstacles, rather than avoid them.

Only then, after you have fully and deeply entered into the domain of what is oppressing your child, can you hope to succeed in providing the solutions for his liberation.

 Email
Morning Minyan

#1 Jewish Website

 
Kosher Food

#1 Jewish Website

 
JLI

#1 Jewish Website

 
Friendship Circle

#1 Jewish Website

 
Furniture Market

#1 Jewish Website