Posted by: mosesfromsinai | January 18, 2010

Bo – Darkness & Death

In this week’s Parsha we have the 3 remaining plagues, Locust, Darkness and the Death of the First Born.  Finally Paroh will agree to let the Jewish nation go.

Looking at the Plague of Darkness, we are told that this allowed the Jewish people to enter the homes of the Egyptians to see where their money and precious valuables were kept. Later the Jewish people would be able to ask for the money and precious valuables that they had seen (as compensation for their slavery). This would fulfill the promise made to Abraham that the nation would be enslaved but finally they would go out with great wealth.

The Plague of Darkness had two levels, the first was just pure darkness.  Then later, it was a heavy darkness that did not allow them to move.  This really is a strange type of plague at first sight or thought.  However, when one begins to reflect on life, the concept of darkness has a deathly like feeling.  When one is left totally in the dark, not knowing what is right or wrong, what to do or not to do, or how to do, the feeling is horrifying.  As time goes on and the darkness remains, there is a sense of increased intensity.  At some point the person will become sort of immobilized and unable to move or react to a given situation.  Panic and being ‘frozen’ can cause or lead to death.  The 9th Plague of Darkness in one sense was a death-like experience for each Egyptian.  This lasted for a period of 72 hours.  A very long time to be in such a state.

We find ourselves today, very much in a state of darkness and exile.  We recently witnessed a tremendous human tragedy in Haiti.  It is hard to see the ‘why’ in such a situation.  For around 2000 years we have been left without our Holy Temple in Jerusalem, again hard to see the ‘why’ especially when we weigh the suffering we Jews have undergone during those 2000 years.  It is our ‘Plague of Darkness’.  When will the Al-mighty see to it that our households are lit up with the light of Redemption as the Jews in Egypt experienced?  It was a world of darkness for everyone but the Jewish nation.  When will we have that?  It does say as we went out of Egypt so too will we go out of our present exile.  When can we be shown the light?  As in Egypt, we too are not interested in the wealth during this time of darkness, just show us the Light of Redemption and take us out of our Galus, our Exile now.

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