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Weekly Davar - Vueira: Pharoah was crazy, but so are we all!

Vueira

(Exodus 6:2 – 9:35)

19th January 2012
24th of Teves, 5772

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Torah Portion

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

Davar Torah
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 thing again!

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!!

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Shaul Rosenblatt
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