Friday, January 26, 2007

The First Jewish Holocaust

Parsha for the Table
Volume 2 Issue 14

פרשת בא: לעלוי נשמת עטל בת יצחק משה

“The First Jewish Holocaust”

The act of slaughtering the Pesach lamb, which was at that time one of the Egyptian gods, required tremendous mesiras nefesh. Imagine all the Jews walking into the Catholic Churches, taking down the statues and crosses and burning them for Lag B’Omer.
But there is an aspect of this deed that I have not seen discussed. Rashi tells us (10:22) that during the first three days of darkness there were many evil Jews who died. Rashi in parshas Beshalach (13:18) tells us that the number that died was 4/5 of clal Yisrael.
So let’s do some simple math.
We know there were 600,000 men between the ages of 20 and 60 that left Egypt. That would mean that 2.4 million men of the same age died during the darkness. Add in women and the elderly, it would certainly not be unimaginable to assume that around 6 million Jews perished during that three day period.
Now, imagine what it would take, after watching most of your friends and family perish, to now go and risk your lives to listen to the words of Hashem to make the korban Pesach.
It’s not a wonder that we celebrate this night for the next 3000 years.
“Mi C’Amcha Yisrael?”
Have a great Shabbas.
Rabbi Bader

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