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Va'eira(Exodus 6:2-9:35)

Stop the Craziness

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 pain has gone, 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 feeling the pain of the consequences of those mistakes, we swear that we will never make the same mistake again. And we really do mean it - until next time that is, when the pain has subsided and we make the same mistake again.

It's plain and simple human nature. You sit and watch absolutely nothing on TV till 3 a.m. on a work day, and swear that tomorrow will be different. And you really do mean it. Until tomorrow comes and the frustration has subsided and you aren't tired any more and there are some good programs on and ... at 3 a.m. 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 going to even look at fattening food again because it is disgusting to you. And you do mean it at the time. But tomorrow's another day and the cheesecake looks so yummy again.

So let's get back to Pharaoh. He's ready for another plague, just because the pain of the previous one has subsided? That's nuts. And when we do it, it's just as crazy. But we do have one advantage over Pharaoh. At least we know we are crazy!

Knowing we are crazy at least leaves us with the possibility of changing, even if it we don't take advantage of it right now. To think, like Pharaoh, that insanity is a normal way of living, is to walk into the asylum - and lock the doors behind us.

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Visitor Comments: 13

(12) Anonymous, January 10, 2016 2:31 PM

Great teacher

I have just finished taking classes in the Englewood,NJ area last week, with Rabbi Rosenblatt and his wife Chana. He talked about well being and innate health which clearly relate to the about in regard to having a persistent negative thought that would not change unless one makes a concerted effort through the Divine presence of God to change that thought. Pharaoh could not do that. He did not believe in the power of God because for him, he was the only god that existed. Rabbi Rosenblatt classes are simply amazing. God bless him and his beatiful family.

(11) Anonymous, January 7, 2016 1:11 PM

Great article! Thanks for posting!

(10) Anonymous, January 14, 2015 2:57 PM

Great!

This is great! Thank you so much for posting this and thank G-d for Torah, Judaism, and those who help spread His word, like you! :-)

(9) Leya Yetta, January 17, 2012 8:03 PM

as a psychiatric social worker I had to laugh at your summary! Yes, we all do crazy things repeatedly, expecting (or hoping) the results will change. But, we are reading the story from the advantage of history; what might the exodus have been like if it occurred after the Nile turned red?

(8) Anonymous, January 5, 2008 8:42 AM

A hardened heart

When G-d hardens your heart it's harder to overcome. It does amaze me that Pharoah doesn't seem to learn. Even so after the Hebrews left Egypt they still didn't seem to understand the miracle of the Red Sea. Hashem does miracles every day but we don't see them because we're so wrapped up in our own self's that we can't see what Hashem is doing or has done. I believe that if we would engross ourselves in Torah we wouldn't miss what G-d has in store for us and our evil inclination couldn't control us like it does.

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