D'var Torah- Parshat Bo
In this week’s Parsha, Hashem delivers the final 3 plagues to the Egyptians and takes the Jewish nation out of Egypt. First, though, he instructs Moshe, saying, “come to Pharaoh, for I have made his heart heavy…” In other words, G-d, Himself, gave Pharaoh the strength to stand up against his inclination to free the Children of Israel. Had it not been for Hashem, perhaps the Jews would have been released much earlier.
G-d was making it clear to Moshe that he was the one behind the difficulties that the Jewish nation was experiencing. Had we traveled back in time to 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 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 best interests at heart, is the one who is maintaining the hardships we may find ourselves in. Nevertheless, just as in Egypt, our difficulties are purposeful, because they are what make us stronger, and allow us to prosper in the long run. It was only because of the problems Bnei Yisrael faced earlier on that they were able to leave Egypt and be worthy of receiving Hashem’s Torah. So too, in our lives, there will constantly be ups and downs, but we must realize that Hashem is putting these challenges in our path. Why? So that we can ultimately grow and better ourselves.