Parshat Hachodesh: How Much Are 2 Mitzvot Worth?

March 28, 2024

2 Mitzvot stood between the Jewish people and the Exodus, and 2 Mitzvot can bring our redemption. A journey between Moses in Egypt, Rabbi Matya in Rome, and the Lubavitcher Rebbe in New York.

Likkutei Sichos vol. 16, Bo Sicha 3
Sicha, Parshas Bo 5737

Preparing to Leave Egypt

On the eve of their exodus, the Jews received two commandments from G-d: circumcision and the Passover offering. Rabbi Masia ben Charash explained that the fulfillment of these mitzvot enabled them to leave Egypt (Source 1).

Why Two Mitzvot?

Why were specifically two mitzvot needed, not one, or more than two? The Rebbe explains that the Passover offering disconnected the Jews from idolatry and circumcision expressed their connection to G-d.

The sheep represented the Egyptian god (which was also entrenched among the Jews) and Moses wondered how they would slaughter the sheep in view of the Egyptians (Source 3). Its slaughter represented severing their ties to idolatry. 

The mitzvah included keeping the sheep in the home for four days, because such a period demonstrated that it was being done in a clear frame of mind, and only then were they completely severed from idolatry. We see this with Abraham, where G-d arranged the test of the binding of Isaac to take four days, to Abraham would make his decisions with a clear mind, and not impulsively (Source 4).

In Rome, of all Places

It is not by coincidence that this was explained by Rabbi Masia ben Charash. He established a yeshivah in Rome and explained to his students that the reason for doing so was to influence the Jews in Rome to observe the mitzvot and thus hasten the final redemption. 

The Rebbe explains that this is the ideology behind Chabad’s efforts to spread Torah and mitzvot as well, helping one Jew do one mitzvah and bringing redemption for all. 



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