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Bo. Actions Speak Louder!

  • Why does Judaism have so much law?

  • Why is halakha so detailed, penetrating every aspect of life, and concerning itself with minutia?

Parashat Bo narrates the story of Israel’s Exodus, but it also marks the first chapter (ch.12) of the Torah that occupies itself with legal matters, carefully detailing the instructions and laws of the paschal lamb, and the symbolic rituals – Pesach, matza, tefillin, the sanctity of firstborn animals and humans – that will conserve and perpetuate the collective memory of the Exodus.

Sefer Hachinuch (Mitzva #16) raises a great question:. Why are there such a plethora of mitzvoth dedicated to the Exodus?

After all, in addition to the listing above, Shabbat, all the festivals, the Sukka, Mezuza, the recitation of Shema, are all rituals of “Zecher l’yetziat mitzrayim”! He asks: “Would a single commemorative ritual have not sufficed to preserve the memory” of the Exodus?