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Bo 5769

Bo (Exodus 10:1-13:16 )

by Kalman Packouz

GOOD MORNING! The story is told of a class of students who were requested to write their list for the modern day "Seven Wonders of the World." Many of the students included: (1) Egypt's Great Pyramids, (2) Taj Mahal, (3) Petra, (4) the Panama Canal, (5) Empire State Building, (6) Machu Pichu, (7) the Great Wall of China, (8) Chichen Itza, (9) Roman Coliseum.

One girl was slow to turn in her list. When queried by the teacher, she replied, "There are so many - I think the "Seven Wonders of the World" are: (1) to see, (2) to hear, (3) to touch, (4) to taste, (5) to feel, (6) to laugh, and (7) to love."

On that note, I thought the following piece (author unknown) would be uplifting and worth sharing:


Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them - work, family, health, friends and spirit - and you're keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls - family, health, friends and spirit - are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same.

You must understand that and strive for balance in your life. How? Don't undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special. Don't set your goals by what other people deem important. Only you know what is best for you. Don't take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would your life, for without them, life is meaningless.

Don't let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future. By living your life one day at a time, you live ALL the days of your life. Don't give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying. Don't be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect. It is this fragile thread that binds us to each other. Don't be afraid to encounter risks. It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.

Don't shut love out of your life by saying it's impossible to find. The quickest way to receive love is to give; the fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly; and the best way to keep love is to give it wings. Don't run through life so fast that you forget not only where you've been, but also where you are going. Don't forget, a person's greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated and to give love to one's family. Don't be afraid to learn. Knowledge is weightless, a treasure you can always carry easily.

Don't use time or words carelessly. The hurtful things you say cannot be taken back. Neither time nor words can be retrieved. Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way.

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift: that's why we call it the present.

* * *

One last uplifting thought from the back of a T-shirt copyrighted by Aish's Ken Spiro, a historian, analyst and engaging speaker. The T-shirt and mp3 downloads are available at


Ancient Egypt
Assyrian Empire
Babylonian Empire
Persian Empire
Greek Empire
Roman Empire
Byzantine Empire
Spanish Empire
Nazi Germany
Soviet Union












The smallest of nations, but with
a Friend in a High Place

For more on "Living In the Present" go to!

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Torah Portion of the Week

This week we conclude the ten plagues with the plagues of locusts, darkness and the death of the first-born. The laws of Passover are presented, followed by the commandment to wear tefillin, consecrate the first-born animal and redeem one's first born son. The Torah tells us that at some time in the future your son will ask you about these commandments and you will answer: "With a show of power, God brought us out of Egypt, the place of slavery. When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us leave, God killed all the first-born in Egypt, man and beast alike. I, therefore, offer to God all male first-born (animals) and redeem all the first-born of sons. And it shall be a sign upon your arm, and an ornament between your eyes (tefillin), for with a strong hand the Almighty removed us from Egypt" (Ex. 13:15).

* * *

Dvar Torah
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

Moses tells the Jewish people to remember the day they departed Egypt. He then tells them that the Almighty will bring them to the land of Israel:

"...a land flowing with milk and honey and you shall do this service" (Exodus 13:5).

What service is the Torah referring to and what connection is there between the service and the Land of Israel?

The Chofetz Chaim, Rabbi Yisroel Meir Kagan, the leader of the generation before World War II comments: "This verse refers to the Jewish People doing the Almighty's commandments. The Torah and the Land of Israel are one unit. Their relationship is as the relationship between the body and the soul. A soul cannot exist alone in this world. The body alone is just dust from the earth; it needs the soul to give it life.

"The soul of the Jewish People is the Torah. The body is the land of Israel. There are many commandments that cannot be fulfilled outside the Land of Israel. In exile our people suffer. Nevertheless, with all of the difficulties involved in living in exile, we as a people are alive. The land of Israel without Torah, however, is like a body without a soul. It is just a piece of land. Only when both exist together is there a complete unit." (from the Chofetz Chaim al HaTorah, p. 65)

* * *

Dvar Torah
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

After the Almighty instructed regarding Pesach, the Torah reports to us:

"And the Children of Israel went and did as the Almighty commanded Moshe and Aharon, so they did" (Exodus 12:28).

Why the seemingly superfluous "so they did" at the end of the verse?

Rashi was bothered by that question, too. He comments that "so they did" refers to Moshe and Aharon. They also did as the Almighty commanded about the Paschal lamb. The Torah tells us this as a lesson to anyone who wants to have a positive influence on others. It is not enough just to tell others to do good deeds. Your own behavior should serve as a model for them to follow.

Action is much more difficult than words. The way to influence others is to be the type of person you wish others to be. (in memory of Earl Pertnoy who lived this idea)

(or go to

Jerusalem 4:36
Guatemala 5:42 - Hong Kong 5:52 - Honolulu 6:02
J'Burg 6:42 - London 4:28 - Los Angeles 5:03
Melbourne 8:15 - Mexico City 6:09 - Miami 5:44

New York 4:52 - Singapore 7:02 - Toronto 5:07


To talk goodness is not good.
Only to do it, is.

-- Chinese Proverb

In Loving Memory of

Earl Pertnoy

a friend to all

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Kalman Packouz

Click here for Rabbi Packouz's bio
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Copyright Rabbi Kalman Packouz 2008


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