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    Small words with a big message – Bo

    This is one of only two portions of the Torah with a two-letter name. The other is No’ach (nun chet).

    Bo means “come”. God could have said, Lech el Paroh – “Go to Pharaoh!” But He said, Bo!, “Come!”

    The implication, says the Ba’al HaTurim, is, “Come with Me to Pharaoh. You won’t be facing trouble on your own; I will be with you!”

    How to handle trouble is one of the oldest and hardest human problems.

    Jewish theology had three options. God could have said, “Because you believe in Me you will never face any trouble. I will protect you before anything happens.”

    He could have said, “I love you and would like to protect you, but the evil forces are too strong, even for Me.”

    What He did say was, “I will be with you in time of trouble” (Psalm 91:15).

    In other words, “Trouble does and will happen, but you will not face it alone. It will test your faith and moral courage, but with My help you will rise above it”.

    The first two options would have been unfair; the first was too soft (“I can go anywhere and do anything and God will make sure I don’t get hurt”) and the second too hard (“I am never going to be safe because even God cannot protect me”).

    We cannot prove ourselves in a world where nothing ever goes wrong, or survive in a world where nothing ever goes right.

    What God does is to give us inner resources and see if we handle them wisely, to strengthen our moral resolve and to support us with His love, care and compassion.

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