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The 10 Plagues

We attempt to draw lessons from every component of the Passover story. This section presents a selection of articles and insights on the relevance of the Ten Plagues in contemporary life.

A summary of the ten plagues G-d wrought upon the Egyptians
Blood, Frogs, Bugs, Wild Animals, Pestilence, Boils, Hail, Locust, Darkness, The Passover Sacrifice, Death of the First-Born
Why Did G-d Smite the Firstborn?
Our job is to find the divine sparks hidden within each person, each object and each event, and let that shine.
Take the 10 Plagues quiz
See how much you know about the ten plagues with this fun quiz!
It's Only Natural
A myth debunked
Are thing supposed to be the way things are, or are things supposed to be the way things are supposed to be?
A Mixture of Wild Beasts
During the first three plagues the Jews were also affected. During the fourth the Jews were not affected. What was the difference?
Pharaoh and the Frog
If not for the frog, says the Midrash, how would the Almighty take retribution against Pharaoh? Why does the Midrash single out the frog when there were nine additional plagues?
All of creation may be divided into three categories: the good, the bad and the frogs
Suspended Hailstones
You're walking down the street when, suddenly, a hard object with sharp edges hits you smack in the middle of the forehead...
The purpose of the plagues was not only to punish the Egyptians, but to break their egos and false notions on G-d.
Rain, a River, Fire and Ice
On the difference between Egypt and the Holy Land, and the inner significance of the Plague of Hail
Ten Ways to Destroy Your Life
Destructive Confidence, Cold Intimacy, Unhealthy Submission, Wild Ambition, Sly Compassion, Brutal Rejection, Frozen Love, Perverted Intelligence, a Locked Mind, and the Death of Identity...
The Kabbalah of Darkness
When confronted with darkness, what do you do? fight it? peer more deeply into it? A dual lesson from the Plague of Darkness that afflicted the Egyptians
Did Darkness Prevail?
The Jewish people had light wherever they lived. Does it mean that the darkness did not affect the specific area where they dwelt? Or does it mean, more mysteriously that even in the Egyptian areas, there was light in the darkness?
A Ray of Light
Do you believe in G-d? That's not enough. Are you just a defender of the faith, or also a defender of the flock?
Does G-d really need to Punish the Wicked?
Obviously, the Egyptians did some really bad things, and something had to be done to free the children of Israel. But couldn’t G-d have found a more humane way to deal with the situation?
Perception and Power
What was the purpose of the plagues?
Why Didn't Pharaoh Release the Israelites?
Why didn’t Pharaoh release the Israelites?
How was Pharaoh punished for refusing to free the Israelites, if G‑d hardened his heart, making him immune to the plagues?
Whacking the River
Our source of sustenance is neither regular nor predictable. It does not well up from a channel grooved in the earth, nor is it treaded up from a hole in the ground. Our eyes are forever trained upward, in hope and expectation, and in faith . . .
Is G‑d Vengeful?
So this is the famous Torah portion where we read about the beginning of the end of the Egyptians. Why all the violence?
Pharaoh's Contrition
What lesson can we take from Pharaoh's promises to redeem the Jews and his subsequent reversals?
Fire and Ice
The ten plagues were not sent just to dismantle Egypt's infrastructure. They were powerful forces that provided the Jews with strategies for spiritual rehabilitation...
A similar global "recession" of sorts, is spoken about in the Torah, one that resulted in the emergence of a new world order that would forever change the course of history.
When Faith Breeds Confidence
I stand in awe of my grandparents' generation, who fought two world wars and overcame a depression in the span of three short decades. But they had a solid work ethic and an unshakable confidence...
Fight Evil or Do Good?
What of someone who awakens to the realization that he's allowed his evil inclination to assume control, and now wishes to reclaim the love for his G‑dly soul? How does one shake off a well-entrenched enemy?
Why the Need for All 10 Plagues?
Is there any significance to the number of plagues? Why the need for all 10?
The Mighty Hand
Were the Egyptians somehow too powerful for G‑d to approach?
Why do we call the holiday Passover? It’s like calling Nordstrom the shoe store.
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