Welcome back. We had an amazing week we had in the Lower School. We are in the middle of our Boosterthon week, keep those pledges coming. We are so excited about our new art room and library.
In this week’s Parasha of Vaeyra , we learn about the first seven plagues. Blood, Frogs, Lice, Wild Animals, Death of the Animals, Boils and Hail. During each plague Pharaoh promises to let Bnei Yisrael go free and when there is relief from the plague, Pharaoh reneges on that promise. Why does Pharaoh seem so stubborn? By the end of this week’s Parasha the Egyptians are devoid of basic necessities. Their water is polluted by the dead fish, their land is polluted with heaping piles of rotting frog, (most of) their animals are dead and the hail destroyed most of the vegetation. Why hasn’t Pharaoh let us go yet?
If we look back to Moshe’s first encounter with G-d at the burning bush, Moshe is told that G-d will harden Pharaoh’s heart and will refuse to let Bnei Yisrael go. This seems to indicate the Pharaoh has lost his free will. Pharaoh is incapable of letting us go. I would like to share with you another possible interpretation. The Seforno (a Torah commentary) explains that G-d really wants Pharaoh to do Teshuva. He should let Bnei Yisrael go because it is the right thing to do and NOT because he is being forced to. When G-d hardens Pharaoh’s heart, it is to give him the fortitude to resist the force of the plague and be willing to let Bnei Yisrael go for ths right reasons. Unfortunately that doesn’t happen until 3 more plagues go by.
Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom.
The Lower School Hebrew and Torah team.