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January 14, 2016

Yip I am on holiday, but on an open water swim this morning I decided to try do a blog. If I can find time to exercise on holiday I can write a blog. Won’t be the same format, but hope to share a message

A summary of this weeks Parsha Bo from

The last three of the Ten Plagues are visited on Egypt: a swarm of locustsdevours all the crops and greenery; a thick, palpable darkness envelops the land; and all the firstborn of Egypt are killed at the stroke of midnight of the 15th of the month of Nissan.

G‑d commands the first mitzvah to be given to the people of Israel: to establish a calendar based on the monthly rebirth of the moon. The Israelites are also instructed to bring a “Passover offering” to G‑d: a lamb or kid is to be slaughtered, and its blood sprinkled on the doorposts and lintel of every Israelite home, so that G‑d should pass overthese homes when He comes to kill the Egyptian firstborn. The roasted meat of the offering is to be eaten that night together with matzah (unleavened bread) and bitter herbs.

The death of the firstborn finally breaks Pharaoh’s resistance, and he literally drives the children of Israel from his land. So hastilydo they depart that there is no time for their dough to rise, and the only provisions they take along are unleavened. Before they go, they ask their Egyptian neighbors for gold, silver and garments—fulfilling the promise made to Abraham that his descendants would leave Egypt with great wealth.

The children of Israel are commanded to consecrate all firstborn, and to observe the anniversary of the Exodus each year by removing all leaven from their possession for seven days, eating matzah, and telling the story of their redemption to their children. They are also commanded to wear tefillin on the arm and head as a reminder of the Exodus and their resultant commitment to G‑d.

I am currently reading a book on Stuart Scott and his battles with cancer. In Australia we don’t know much about Stuart as he was a TV sports host on ESPN and became famous for some of his catch phrases. It is an amazing book and he must have been an amazing person. But what struck me reading the book was his is energetic and unwavering devotion to his family and to his work while fighting the battle of his life. 

One of the amazing things was that after every chemo or other treatment he would workout. 

Working out was his way of saying to cancer, “You’re trying to invade my body; you’re trying to take me away from my daughters, but I’m stronger than you. And I’m going to hit harder than you.”

This week’s Torah portion opens with God telling Moses “bo el Par’oh”, come to Pharaoh. What is the significance of the word “bo” (come).

We learn that even  

 once we’ve succeeded in starting on our way, it is so easy for us to lose heart. Rabbi Marc Angel says that there are always obstacles in the way, costs to be paid, nay-sayers who harden their hearts against us. So we then need to remember the word “bo”–come, maintain focus, maintain the momentum, come to the goals which we have set for ourselves.

“Bo” reminds us to stay the course, not to lose heart, not to surrender to frustration and setbacks.

Another aspect was his devotion to his family and specifically to his daughters. He would do all he could to spend as much time with them. 

I would like to dedicate this Blog to my riding buddy Alex’s brother in law Jonathan Rosen who tragically passed away last week. It is too hard for any of us to imagine what his family must be going through, but we all need to “come” closer to our families and remember how important they are no matter what our work and other commitments are. 

Another group of people who need a mention are all these wonderful CHABAD Rabbis around the world who with the words “come” are willing to take there families to many remote locations all in the name of doing outreach and ensuring that all Jews have a place to go. Here in Phuket they doing an amazing job with a Shul and restaurant. These Rabbis are all so devoted and don’t seem to loose focus on what there roles are. 

Before I take Michaela my daughter for a mani and pedi. I will end with a quote. 

Scott, who received a standing ovation during his acceptance of the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the 2014 ESPY addressed his uncertain future at the time.

When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer,” Scott told the audience. “You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.”

Dedicated to the memory of Jonathan Yitzchak Rosen. May his family only know Simchas. Donations can be made to the family at


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