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    Bones & the commandments – B’shallach

    The Torah says (Ex. 13:19) that Moses and the Israelites took the bones of Joseph with them when they left Egypt.

    The body of Joseph, from the 1890 Holman Bible

    Solomon’s Mishlei tells us that “The wisehearted will receive mitzvot” (Prov. 10:8). The Midrash comments, “This is Moses – the people were busy with material things but Moses occupied himself with bones.”

    What have bones and commandments to do with each other?

    There is a play on words – atzmot (bones) and mitzvot (commandments).

    There is a deeper connection if you think of the character of Joseph. When Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him, Joseph knew that some things were transgressions of the commandments.

    As a wisehearted man, Joseph took the commandments on himself and his good character was remembered and rewarded by Moses.

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