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Jan 8, 2008

the source of an ancient Jewish tradition has been found!

I was reviewing this weeks parsha - parshas Bo, and I found the source for an old Jewish tradition!

Have you ever packed for a trip, no matter how big or how small the trip might be? A guy will throw into the suitcase a pair of underwear, a t-shirt, a clean shirt and maybe a spare pair of pants (slacks) if the trip is going to be for more than 2 days.

Then the wife (or mother) packs. She throws in at least 3 changes of clothes for each day of the trip. She throws in all her creams and makeups. She throws in every possible thing she might need.

Then she packs for the kids. Every possible book or toy they might consider playing with and reading. Enough diapers to last the baby until it gets potty trained. Enough clothes to cover any situation including one where each child soils his garments three or four times a day.
She will even make everybody take a swimsuit, just in case. Even if there is not going to be water within 500 miles of your destination!

Then she packs the food. Every possible item that is ready to be eaten that is sitting in the fridge gets packed. Every single condiment that anybody in the family might prefer gets packed. Enough plastic-ware for a lifetime.

And then she will throw in a few more things "just in case".

In Parshas Bo, after the plague of darkness is lifted from the Egyptians, Pharoah calls in Moshe and tells him that he will allow them to go out to pray to their God. Pharoah says even the little kids can go with. The only limitation is that the flocks and herds should stay.

Moshe answers, in 10:25-26, that not only will we go and take our cattle, but you will give us of yours for us to sacrifice as well. he says everything is coming with. nothing is staying behind. We are taking everything with which we might serve God, and because we do not know what items we might need [and how much of them], and we will not know until we get there, we need to take everything along.

There you have it. Moshe was not a woman, but maybe he got his list for packing from his wife. That is why we pack so much even for short trips..


  1. The reason that women pack so much stuff and men don't is because the minute someone realizes that something is missing, they will automatically blame the woman and not the man: "Mom! Where's my pink striped headband? I can't go out without my headband!!!" It never occurs to anyone to scream at Dad for forgetting stuff.

  2. You never know. What starts out as a 3 day journey may last for 40 years. :-)

  3. smells of bible criticism, rafi don't go there.

    just take moshe out of it and you have a nice post with observations about life.

  4. super - could very well be the reason..

    desert - haha!!

    ls - bible criticism? chas v'shalom! just a funny thought that popped into my head when reading the passuk.

    By the way, Bible Criticism is, by definition (copied from wiki), Biblical criticism is "the study and investigation of biblical writings that seeks to make discerning and discriminating judgments about these writings."[1] It asks when and where a particular text originated, how, why, by whom, for whom, and in what circumstances it was produced, what influences were at work in its production, what sources were used in its composition, and the message it was intended to convey
    this is nothing even close and not at all similar to bible criticism.

  5. men are hunters and only need a bow and arrow; they kill and eat and poop and sleep. Women are gatherers, collectors of things, possessive and protective of what's theirs, and they are not going to leave anything behind of value in case they might settle somewhere else=---and if you're not careful, with someone else.


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