In last week's Parshah, Moses cried bitterly to G‑d about the hardships that
the Jews were experiencing. Now, G‑d speaks to Moses and promises him that he
will indeed save the Jews. He tells him that he must go to King Pharaoh and
demand that he let the Jews out of Egypt. But, G‑d warns Moses that Pharaoh will
not listen, because G‑d will harden his heart so that He can show the Jews great
So Moses and Aaron go to Pharaoh to try to convince him to let the Jews free.
But Pharaoh refuses to listen. Aaron turns his stick into a snake, but still,
Pharaoh says no. So when they go again, G‑d tells them to tell Pharaoh that if
he doesn't listen to G‑d, the Nile River will be turned to blood.
Pharaoh says no, and so the punishing plagues begin. First, the Nile is
turned to blood. Next, Egypt is overrun by swarms of jumping frogs, and
then by itchy lice. In the fourth plague, hordes of massive, scary, wild animals
invade the land, and in the fifth, all the animals belonging to the Egyptians
get sick and die. Next, all the Egyptians get these horrible, painful
boils all over their skin, and in the seventh plague, big balls of
fire and ice fall down from the sky as hail.
And each time, Pharaoh begs Moses to get rid of the plague and promises that
he will let the Jews go. But as soon as the plague is over, Pharaoh changes his
mind. And no matter how much Moses warns him that a new plagues will come, and
no matter how much he knows the Egyptians will suffer, Pharaoh's heart remains
hardened, and the Jews remain stuck in Egypt.