Thursday, January 03, 2008

Va'Eira: choosing to be blind

Parshat Va'Eira

When Moshe and Aharon brought forth the various plagues, we sometimes find that the Egyptian wizards performed the same plague so as to show that Moshe's plague was just plain witchcraft rather than an act of God.

We find examples of this in 7:22 and 8:3 among other places.

People choose to be blind. They choose to reject what they see and understand, if it is not convenient. Moshe and Aharon were not performing magic tricks. They were not saying look how pwerful we are, we can do this trick or that trick. They were transmitting messages from Hashem and the specific magic "tricks" they performed were messages, signs and warnings for Pharoah.

Yet Pharoah chose to ignore it all simply because his magicians were able to replicate some of the specific tricks.
Note that they were not able to reverse the "magic" and turn the Nile River back into water from blood, or remove the frogs. Just the fact that they could replicate, at least in part, the "magic" that allowed Pharoah to remain in denial and choose to ignore what he saw.

The old adage "Seeing is Believing" is not really true. A person sees what he wants to see and hears what he wants to hear. Hashem can be sending you direct messages, but if you refuse to open your eyes and your mind, you can deny having ever received them.

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