Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Bo

Really Big

By Rabbi Raymond Beyda

The stubbornness of Par-oh in the face of almost one year of devastating plagues is unparalleled in human history. To simply say he hardened his heart sheds no light on the weakness in his character that would blind him to the path of submission that would have saved his country from disaster.

The Torah states that when Par-oh entered his palace, he suddenly had a change of heart and would reject the demands of Moshe and Aharon for freedom for the Jews. “And he came into his house and did not concern his heart with this [warning] either”. Shemot 7:15 Rabenu Bahye adds that the wicked king Nebudhadnezar was also proud of his palace and therefore became haughty.

The question is: These monarchs had fame, success and power – Why did their palace make them conceited when they had so much else of which to be proud? The lesson is that arrogance is not an intellectual response, but instead an emotional one. A beautiful home with its opulent décor aroused feelings of ga-avah – arrogance – more that wealth and power did intellectually.

We live in a society where exterior trappings define the man. Clothing – cars – and big-boy toys define a person to friends and neighbors more than the real person does. More dangerous is the fact that these not so meaningful possessions transform the way one looks at oneself as well. A simple man surrounded by lavish trappings sees a distorted self-image that may very well lead to haughty behavior beyond one’s true worth as a human being and as a member of society. Wrong decisions and poor choices are sure to follow the blindness of conceit.

The Jewish home has been a paradigm for an environment conducive to spiritual growth and boundless self-improvement through the ages. Even the wicked prophet Bil-am praised, “Ma tovu ohalekha Yisrael – How goodly are your tents Israel” as he perused the modest life style of our ancestors. We should all take a close look at our priorities and re-establish our homes as a beautiful environment to nurture ourselves and our children in a life of happiness and contentment steeped in Torah values.

Shabbat Shalom


Text Copyright © 2006 by Rabbi Raymond Beyda and Torah.org.


 

ARTICLES ON BESHALACH AND TU BESHVAT:

View Complete List

The Perfect Script Writer
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5772

The Enemy Within and Without
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

Appreciation in Times of Pain
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5770

ArtScroll

How to Always Be Happy
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5756

Walls of Water
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

Everyone Needs Attention
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5763

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Back-Seat Driver
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

The Shabbos Remembrance
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5767

Sweet' Can Emerge From 'Bitter
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

> Separating the Men From the Boys
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5761

Can A Person Sleep For Seventy Years?
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

Freight and Handling
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

Looking for a Chavrusah?

A Stiff-Necked People
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

Sole Survivor
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5762

Divine Multitasking
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5766

What is Tu B'Shvat?
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5761



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information