In last week’s parsha we experienced the first seven of the ten plagues. This week, Hashem delivers the final three plagues. We read about the famous Exodus, the Passover story, and the origin of eating and partaking in the Karban Pesach (the paschal lamb) on the first night of Passover. Then Hashem delivers a list of Mitzvos, commandments, that are either prohibitive or active. This means there are two kinds of mitzvos: positive or negative. Positive connotes something that we SHOULD do e.g. you shall eat matzah on the first night of Passover. Or the commandments indicate something we should refrain from doing. These are the negative mitzvos e.g. you shall NOT consume anything leavened during the Passover festival. There are 365 negative commandments in the Torah and 248 positive commandments, equaling to 613 all together in the entire Torah. 365 is the same number as days in the solar year, meaning there is a negative mitzvah for us to observe everyday of the year. 248 corresponds to the number of bones in our bodies. From this we learn that practicing the positive mitzvos is done with our whole body!
Anyway, at the very end of the parsha, Hashem commands that Jews are to wear tefillin (phylacteries). What are tefillin? I’m so glad you asked! This video will show you how to put them on. Inside each box are scrolls with the four sections from the Torah that describe the origin and meaning of wearing tefillin. One of which is the “Shema” prayer that we are meant to recite every morning and night.