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Parshas Bo 5784


ויאמר יהוה אל משה בא אל פרעה כי אני הכבדתי את לבו ואת לב עבדיו ... (י-א)

Parshas Bo speaks of the fall of Egypt due to the plagues Hashem inflicted upon it. The Haftorah takes place about 800 years later, when Yirmiyahu HaNavi foretells Egypt’s downfall at the hands of Nevuchadnezzar, King of Bavel. Interestingly, the Navi says, “Like Tavor among the mountains and Carmel by the sea, so shall he come.” But what does this have to do with the downfall of Egypt?

R’ Avraham Pam zt”l explains that Chazal (Megillah 29a) tell us how in their desire to participate in Matan Torah, these two mountains, Har Tavor and Har HaCarmel (or, according to the Maharsha, their ministering angels), uprooted themselves from their locations outside of Eretz Yisroel and transplanted themselves in the Sinai Desert to participate in Matan Torah. Because of their efforts, Hashem allowed them to remain there in the Holy Land.

Chazal famously tell us that in the future all shuls and Batei Medrashimin the Diaspora will be transported to Eretz Yisroel. This is because when Jews daven and learn Torah in a structure made of brick, stone, wood, or the like, the building itself becomes imbued with holiness, which will give it the merit to be transplanted into the holy soil of the Holy Land.

Conversely, Egypt was famous for being a land of pure immorality. The very land became infused with tremendous impurity, even dragging Klal Yisroel down almost to a level of no return. How careful must we be to always treat every place of Torah and Tefillah with the proper respect.


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