Do you need help
in developing a word of Torah for your Simcha?
If so, SimchaVort can
help. Kindly send an email to Moshe Burt
telling me what the Simcha is, who it's
for and what Parsha it's in. In exchange for your
kind donation of at least $180 to The Sefer Torah Recycling Network,
I'll be glad to help with ideas such as was done in the case
Shemos and the Hardening of Pharoh's Heart
Having followed Divrei
Torah which appear on Arutz-7's website, a family recently requested
comments from me on Parsha Shemos to assist their daughter in preparing
a Drosh on the Parsha. The mother writes that her
daughter is particularly interested in Hashem's hardening of Pharoah's
As a result of Pharoh's
feeling a debt of gratitude to Yosef, he was ousted from power and yet
held to his attitude for some 3 months in which he suffered shame and
humiliation for refusing to harm them. After that
passage of time, he decided, shall we say pragmatically, or more
precisely in the name of his self-interest, "that it was more
profitable for him to comply with the demands of the nobility and the
Once Pharoh refused the
first request to allow Klal Yisrael to leave, Hashem could simply have
flattened and annihilated Egypt with one mighty blow. But
this would not have achieved the main purpose of the Exodus, not the
destruction of Egypt, but a demonstration of Divine power which
left no room for doubt that Hashem controls the world. The
more miracles wrought in Egypt, the greater and clearer the realization
that Hashem, the G'd of Israel, was in charge of His world.
(Sefer Shem Mishmuel, Parsha Va'eira, page 119). This concept was
borne out in Yithro's reaction to the miracles performed by Hashem on
behalf of Klal Yisrael; "Now I know that Hashem is greater
than any other deity..."
In short, the plagues and
Pharoh's feigned "teshuva" after each followed by the
"hardening of Pharoh's heart" was orchestrated by Hashem
as a means of bringing forth many more Divine wonders in order to bring
about teshuva amongst the Egyptians, to show both B'nai Yisrael
and the other nations who is truly in charge of the world and to mold,
unify and solidify Klal Yisrael as a Nation which cleaves to Hashem.
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