Rabbi Chaim Dovid Green
"And G-d said to Moshe 'come to Pharaoh, for I have made his heart
heavy...'" This means that G-d Himself gave Pharaoh the strength to stand up
against His coercion to free the Children of Israel.
G-d made clear to Moshe that He is behind the difficulties which the
Children of Israel were experiencing. Had we been in Egypt, we might have
just seen a very stubborn Pharaoh and felt the oppression of his domination
over us. We may have wondered when and if this all would end. However, the
truth of the matter is that G-d Himself was really at the helm, navigating.
Rabbi Yehudah Aryeh Leib Alter (19th cent.) writes in "Sfas Emes" that from
this parsha one can derive much encouragement in facing the hardships we
encounter in trying to do the right thing. G-d, Who has only our good in
mind, is the One Who is maintaining the hardships we may find ourselves in.
Nevertheless, just as in Egypt, our difficulties are purposeful.
One might conclude from the existence of opposition to good that G-d is
weak. Rabbi Alter points out that it is really just the opposite. The
patience and control that G-d shows by giving mankind strength to go against
His will is a more profound manifestation of strength than that of
A great rabbi once sent his son out to collect money for an urgent cause.
Very soon after he left, he returned. "Why did you return so soon? Were you
able to collect everything so quickly?" "No father, I was not. The reason I
returned is as follows. When I began collecting, I found that people were
almost throwing their money at me. I saw that I was meeting with no
resistance, and I concluded that this could not have been a truly holy
cause. Had it really been, there is no question that it would have been
We can't get excited when we see that the Pharaoh's of the world can
confidently state "Who is G-d that I should listen to him? I don't know
G-d..." Such does not preclude G-d's existence, and it doesn't mean we are
abandoned in the hands of evil. Rather, G-d is acting behind the scenes for
our ultimate good. In the end, just as our forefathers did in Egypt, we will
stand proudly, point toward G-d and say this is (and has always been) my
G-d, and I will glorify Him.
Text Copyright © 1998 Rabbi Dovid Green and
Project Genesis, Inc.