In the spirit of great Jewess/puppeteer Shari Lewis, creator/host of the children’s television show Lamb Chop’s Play-Along and author of the revolutionary awful “One-minute Bible Stories” for children, this week I would like to share with you some very brief musings on Parashat Bo. I would like to thank Ben Fink for co-writing this piece with me.
Among the many episodes contained within this week’s Torah portion, we read of the Hebrew families in Egypt painting their doorposts with the blood of a slain lamb. The idea here is that the blood-covered doorpost will serve as a marker of the Hebrew home, and the first-born child will be saved. In killing the pascal lamb and partaking of its blood, each Hebrew father assumes the role of Abraham: slaying an animal in lieu of his beloved son.
On the one hand, this gesture represents a collective validation of the children of Israel. On the other hand, these latter-day Abrahams are not subjected to nearly as dramatic a test of faith as Abraham experienced. If every father thus is made a patriarch, the role of patriarch is then not revolutionary, but merely functionary.