Weekly Davar - Vueira: Pharoah was crazy, but so are we all!
(Exodus 6:2 – 9:35)
19th January 2012
24th of Teves, 5772
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After a little hiccup in last week’s portion, Moses gets his dialogue
with Pharaoh back on track. Pharaoh, with God’s prompting, doesn’t allow
the Jewish people to leave and that’s when things really heat up.
The plagues come fast and furious – Blood, Frogs, Lice, Wild animals,
pestilence (whatever that is), boils & hail. Pharaoh is always
willing to let them go in the midst of the plague, but once the
excitement has subsided, he quickly changes his mind.
Three more plagues and the dénouement next week
Pharoah was crazy, but so are we all!
It is quite unbelievable that Pharaoh can fail to learn over and over
again. Every time, at the height of the plague, he sees his mistake, and
sincerely decides to let the Jewish people go. But as soon as the
plague has subsided, the pain forgotten, he is back to his old tricks.
It seems crazy, but then again, don’t we all do the same? We make
mistakes and when we are experiencing the pain of the consequences of
those mistakes, we swear that we will never do it again. We have changed
and future will be different. And we really do mean it – until next
time that is, when the pain has subsided and we do exactly the same
It’s just human nature, I’m afraid. You sit and watch absolutely nothing
on TV till 3am on a work day, and swear that tomorrow will be
different. And you really do mean it. Until tomorrow comes, the
frustration has subsided and you aren’t tired any more and there are
some good programmes on and, and, and…… at 3am you swear it will never
happen again. Or you wake up with a hangover swearing never to drink
again – until later that evening when you are offered a drink. Or you
finish the whole cheesecake when on a diet. You feel sick and appalled
at yourself and tell yourself that you are never even looking at
fattening food again because it’s absolutely disgusting to you. And you
do mean it at the time. But tomorrow’s another day and that cheesecake
looks oh so yummy again.
We are all the same, I’m afraid – just variations on a theme. But just
because we all do it all the time does not mean that Pharaoh is not
crazy when he does it. He’s ready for another plague just because the
pain of the previous one has subsided?!! That really is nuts. And when
we do what we do, it’s just as nuts. He’s crazy and we’re crazy. But we
do have one advantage over Pharaoh. At least we know we’re crazy!!
Rabbi Shaul Rosenblatt
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