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NCSY Camp Sports Dvar Torah!

Dear Parents and NCSYers,

This week we have the pleasure of hearing a dvar torah from Sammy Aronson:

Did Hashem actually take away Pharaoh’s free will? Rabbi David Forhman comments in his weekly parsha video that Hashem actually did the exact opposite. The Seforno comments and says that really Hashem was strengthening Pharaoh’s heart. Many times throughout the parsha, the Torah uses the word “Vayechezak” in reference to Pharaoh “hardening” his heart. The word “chizuk” literally means strengthen. Hashem was strengthening Pharaoh’s heart. He wasn’t taking away his free will, he was enhancing it, he was giving Pharaoh the courage to continue the fight.

This is evident from the fact that in Pasuk 27 Perek 9, after the plague of fiery hail, it really seems that Pharaoh has given up. “This time I have sinned; Hashem is the Righteous One, and I and my people are the wicked ones.” (Va’eira, Shemos, 9:27) It truly seems that Pharaoh has given up. But Hashem gives Pharaoh the courage to keep fighting, to pursue his goal. What is his goal? To keep the Jews enslaved, which happens to be the exact opposite of what Hashem ultimately wants to happen. Hashem is giving Pharoh the courage to continue defying his will. Why?

Hashem wanted to teach the world an important lesson about who is really in control. That’s exactly the reason why Hashem had these plagues last for so long. If Hashem wanted to, He could have easily had the Jews leave, why did he have to put on such a show? Because Hashem wanted to teach the world that it is He who is in charge, He who protects the Jewish people and keeps them safe.

We should all be zoche (merit) to see Hashem in our daily lives and in this way, we will be zoche to have Hashem redeem us a third time.

Have a delightful Shabbos!

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