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Bo: Extracting the Sparks from Pharaoh

Come (Bo) to Pharaoh for I have hardened his heart…” This is the third and last time that Moses is told to “come to Pharaoh”, as is alluded to in the numerical value of the Hebrew word for ‘come’, ‘Bo’, which is 3.

But there is a difference. In the previous times, God tells Moses to “Come to Pharaoh and say/speak to him”. Come in order to talk. This time, the directive stands alone. Come in order to come. On a deeper level, this alludes to a connection between Moses and Pharaoh. (In Hebrew, Bo also means intimate relations). True, Moses comes to Pharaoh in order to smite him with another three (Bo=3) plagues. But the plagues actually create a connection between the two. How can this be?

There are holy sparks in Egypt that the Children of Israel must extract. To accomplish this, Moses – the head of the Children of Israel – must meet Pharaoh – the king of Egypt – and clarify and redeem the sparks from him. In order to clarify a spark, one must desire and love it. As those sparks are mixed and enveloped within Pharaoh, Moses must love him. This is no simple task: It is relatively easy to smite this major evil person, but it is dangerous to love him without being influenced by him. Moses is apprehensive until God says to him: Do not fear, I am coming to Pharaoh with you. (This is why the verse says, “Come to Pharaoh” and not “Go to Pharaoh).


The numerical value of Moses is 345. When he gives himself with the addition of ten plagues, this equals 355, the numerical value of Pharaoh. This is how Moses connects to Pharaoh and extracts all the sparks captive within him.

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