Kill the Astrology, Eat their Lamb Chops

Kli Yakar Exodus: Bo

Kill the Astrology, Eat their Lamb Chops

Ancient Egyptians never liked the Jews. Already from the days of Joseph they wouldn’t even sit with him at the same table (school lunches were probably not much fun for his kids). The reason stated back in Genesis is because the children of Israel were shepherds.

The Kli Yakar (Exodus 12:2) explains that the ram (that’s an uncastrated male sheep, for you city-folk like me) was a prime Egyptian god. As such they felt it unseemly that other humans should lord it over their gods, by being shepherds, hence their intense dislike and anti-social behavior towards Jews.

The Kli Yakar finds astrological interest in the exact timing of the Exodus of the Children of Israel from Egypt. Nissan, the Hebrew month of the Exodus, astrologically was the month of the Ram (Aries).

In the middle of the month (or really the tenth day), when the moon is ascendant and the sheep-god is supposedly at the height of its power, God commands the Children of Israel to publicly and en-mass slaughter sheep (for over 600,000 men, that’s a lot of lamb chops!). One of the purposes, it seems, was to completely and unequivocally demonstrate the total lack of power of this so-called “god” of the Egyptian astrologers, and the ultimate power and supremacy of the Jewish version of God.

So, may we not take our horoscopes seriously, but continue to enjoy lamb chops despite astrologer’s objections.

Shabbat Shalom,



To the Maccabeats on passing 4 million hits on their youtube music video. No connection to the dvar torah. I just couldn’t think offhand of anyone connected to astrologers, rams or lamb chops.

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