July 18, 2024
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July 18, 2024
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In this week’s parsha, Bo, the last few plagues are placed upon Egypt, one of which is the plague of darkness. When we are told about the plague of darkness, we are specifically told that all the Jews had light where they were dwelling. Throughout all the plagues it is rare for it to specifically state that the Jews were not affected by the plague.

The Midrash explains that not only did they have light, but they had more than their normal vision when it was light. This vision allowed them to find where the Egyptians jewelry was placed. Rashi, while agreeing that the Midrash is true, added that darkness also applied to certain Jews. This seems to contradict the Torah. He explains that the Jews who were struck with darkness were Jews who didn’t want to leave, who didn’t trust in Hashem.

The Torah and Rashi are both right, in different ways. The Torah says that all the Jews were able to see light, which may be true in a physical sense. In the physical sense, all Jews were able to see and there was literal darkness for the Egyptians. Rashi must be talking about the spiritual aspect. He was stating the fact that there were some Jews who did not see the light in the situation, the light that they would be freed. They saw darkness and didn’t have enough faith in Hashem that they would get to leave.

Then how could Rashi say those people died because of their darkness? They died during the plague of darkness because of their lack of trust, but they didn’t die because the physical darkness was strong and harmed the Jews. Doubt is an acceptable feeling to have, but at a certain point, when we are just trying to deny the obvious, that is when we need to have emunah (faith). Many plagues had already occurred and the Jews who didn’t trust in God were denying the power He has. Sometimes we are a stubborn nation and we believe we are right even if we have proof we are wrong. We must overcome the need to always be right so we won’t be in the dark and we will be able to see the light we have.

By Shira Sedek

 

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