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Pharaoh's Hardened Heart

GYE Corp. Thursday, 12 January 2012

This coming seder night, we will read of the Makkos (plagues). We will all ask, "how was Pharaoh so stupid as to not read the danger signs?". We will be answered that "Hashem hardened his heart". It took a mortal danger to Pharaoh himself before he ran to the B'nei Yisroel, begging them to leave, something he would never have considered doing in the past.

I can attest to this sequence of events, as I imagine many here can do. We might start off with some guilt, but over time, our hearts are hardened (calloused, if you will). We might see some danger signs, but "we can manage them". Finally, we get a good kick up the backside. Many of us will thank Hashem for this, some might not. But at that stage, we will do the unspeakable, and ask for help, or have help thrust upon us.

And how many of the B'nei Yisroel did not want to leave? And how many only continued because of the support of good leadership and downright peer-pressure? Chazal have repeatedly pointed out reference to our own "personal" Mitzrayim and slavery to the physical (especially lust) from which we should escape.

When you are all at your Seder, reading about the plagues and ultimate mortal peril in which Paroh found himself - spare a thought for your fellow Yidden who have a hardened heart, and pray that we all have the strength to move forward before we are forcibly moved on.