923 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37403

Parshat Bo: I Remember Egypt – January 19, 2024

Exodus 13:8

וְהִגַּדְתָּ֣ לְבִנְךָ֔ בַּיּ֥וֹם הַה֖וּא לֵאמֹ֑ר בַּעֲב֣וּר זֶ֗ה עָשָׂ֤ה יְהֹוָה֙ לִ֔י בְּצֵאתִ֖י מִמִּצְרָֽיִם׃

And you shall explain to your child on that day, ‘It is because of what the Lord did for me when I went out from Egypt.’

Do you remember Egypt? We’ve all been there. That low point, that feeling of narrowness – for Egypt means “a narrow place” in Hebrew – one where you feel trapped, stuck between grief and despair. Maybe you were there years ago, maybe you’re there now. 

When I came out of Egypt, I found myself in a wilderness stretched farther than the eye could see, an uncertain future. Walking one step at a time with my brothers and sisters who also left Egypt, I found the courage to turn away from the pain, and toward the barren landscape ahead of me. 

The Torah requires us to look into the eyes of the next generation and proclaim “I was a slave in Egypt, and God redeemed me with an outstretched hand.” Each of us has been to Egypt, and the truth is, we may find ourselves in Egypt again. The constriction of sorrow and grief, the desperation of rock bottom, is not limited to a single instance.

When we find ourselves in Egypt again, we can have faith that we will not remain there. We find strength in remembering that our ancestors were redeemed from Egypt, that we have been redeemed from Egypt, and that God has the power to free us from Egypt again and again. When God first took me out of Egypt, I was in America, maybe in my twenties. God took me out, even when I did not think it was possible. Where were you? 

Office Hours

B’nai Zion Congregation
923 McCallie Avenue
Chattanooga, TN 37403
(enter parking lot from Oak Street)

Monday: Closed
Tuesday-Thursday: 10:00am – 4:00pm
Friday: 10:00am – 3:00pm

Please call ahead to confirm someone will be in the office when you arrive!


Rabbi Samuel Rotenberg: rabbirotenberg@bzcongregation.com

Autumn Clark, Office Manager: office@bzcongregation.com

Phone: 423.894.8900

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