Netanyahu Refers to Blood on Doorposts as Means to Protect Against Plague

April 2, 2020

2 min read

In another nightly address to the Israeli public, Prime Minister Netanyahu praised Israel for their cooperation in its fight against coronavirus. “Until now, we have made the right decisions and made them on the move” he explained. Additionally, the Israeli premiere announced a new Health Ministry guideline ordering Israelis to leave the house with protective masks “and if you don’t have one, use a scarf”. He also promised to provide families 500 shekel (about $140) for each child to help get through these difficult times.

And with the holiday of Passover around the corner, Netanyahu reminded the nation of how the original Passover holiday was celebrated by the Israelites alone saying: “we will adopt the celebration of Passover like our forefathers in Egypt – Passover at home! Every father and mother will celebrate Passover with the children that live in their home.”

After vowing to ensure that Israel’s elderly will be looked after, Netanyahu quoted a passage from the book of Exodus saying: “just like the exodus from Egypt, our mission is clear: and God will pass over the door and not let the Destroyer enter and plague your home.” This is the second half of the following passage:

For when Hashem goes through to smite the Egyptians, He will see the blood on the lintel and the two doorposts, and Hashem will pass over the door and not let the Destroyer enter and smite your home. (Exodus 12:23)

In that passage, God commands the Israelites to place blood from the sacrificed lamb onto the two doorposts and the lintel of their houses where the Paschal lamb is consumed. The blood was to serve as a sign which protected the Israelites from the plague of the firstborn. Upon seeing the blood on the homes of the Israelites, God passed over them and didn’t inflict any harm on the occupants of those homes.

According to Maimonides, the Jewish world’s most respected Torah commentator,  God commanded the Israelites to slaughter lambs. This is because the Egyptians worshiped them. The reason for the Paschal lamb is to rid the Israelites of these idolatrous beliefs. The sacrifice, and the blood sprinkled on the house, is directed towards the Israelites. The Israelites see the blood on their doorposts and understand that they were saved because they slaughtered a lamb, the Egyptian god. This act of rejecting idolatry was the reason they deserve being saved.

Later on in the speech, Netanyahu referred to another Biblical passage but this time in the Book of Jeremiah saying: “Yesterday I spoke with a religious Zionist rabbi who was struck with coronavirus. I wished him a full recovery. He said to me: It is a time of trouble for Yaakov, But he shall be delivered from it.”

It is a time of trouble for Yaakov, But he shall be delivered from it. (Jeremiah 30:7)

“From it!” Netanyahu stressed.

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu explains that this verse refers to the growing pains that the nation of Israel must endure before redemption.

Netanyahu continued his address with a message of hope saying “citizens of Israel, we will overcome this with God’s help, and your help” and  concluded”the nation of Israel lives.”

Below is the speech (in Hebrew)

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