Bo 2024



By Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron

In this painting we see an emphasis on the verses that begin with Hashem’s Name “Hashem Tzevaot,” a
Name that denotes the Holy Presence that rests with the legions of Israel. We chose this for this parsha
which mentions the term “legions” for the first time in the Torah – “the legions of Hashem left Egypt” The
theme of the legions of Israel is strengthened in this painting through the twelve shofarot blasted here,
apparently hinting to the twelve tribes consisting of the “legions of Israel.” Although there are twelve
shofars, only six men are seen blowing them, as if the other six are blown from some hidden individuals.
This seems to follow with a Kabbalistic custom regarding the Shabbat meals, when one is to have six
loaves of bread revealed above six loaves of bread that are “hidden” under them. At the hilltops there are
also six trees to the right and six to the left. Also notice that , although there are six shofars to the right
and the left, there are seven flames/leaves that emanate from these shofars to each side. This idea seems to
reflect a Kabbalistic teaching that ties the letter yod, considered of higher spiritual ranking than the vav, to
the letter vav, causing them to form the letter zayin, of the numerical value of seven, together. More
simply explained, the flame/leaf emanating from the shofar may represent the holy seventh day of
Shabbat and also the spiritual breath/sound emanating from the shofar associated with spiritual energy, I.e
“flame,” or growing life-force, signified by the leaf coming from the growing tree. Shabbat represents the
day when we strengthen our faith and trust in Hashem to provide all we need even without us working for
it. Indeed, the verses written here are verses that strengthen the trust in Hashem. This idea fits perfectly
with the Name “Hashem Tzvaot” we noted, since the idea is to recognize Hashem as the security, trust,
and confidence of Israel, and that is the spiritual “Legion” that fights for the security of Israel. The Holy
Presence fighting for Israel is also signified by the Temple and the Menora found at the center of this
painting, symbols of the Holy Presence resting among Israel. Note also that Jericho was conquered
miraculously by the legions of Israel with the blasting of seven shofars. There is also an idea here that ties
the seven flames of the Menora with seven drops of water seen adjacent to them. Flames represent the
spiritual flux going from below upwards through the efforts of Israel, while water represents the Divine
kindness and blessing coming from above downwards in accordance with Israel’s efforts. Nevertheless,
these seven drops are the most noticeable, but they are found in the midst of milliards of drops of
blessing, for the Divine blessing is much greater than the efforts made from below. One of the themes

Maarat Hamachpela of Hebron represents, according to the Kabbalists, is the spiritual flux going from
below upwards, which in-turn triggers blessing from above.

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