"Pharaoh said: I will let you go. Sacrifice to G‑d your G‑d in the wilderness, but don't go too far. Pray for me."

A chassid remarked: The animal soul of man, which embodies his selfish and material desires, knows that it is futile to try to dissuade a Jew from serving his Creator.

So when a Jew wants to pray, it doesn't try to stop him; instead, it seeks to transform his service into just another selfish endeavor.

Go ahead, says the "Pharaoh" within, serve your G‑d. But don't go off too far, don't lose sight of the world you live in. Pray for me as well, don't forget about my needs...

The Soul of Evil

And G‑d said to Moses: "Come to Pharaoh"

Why does it say, "come to Pharaoh," it should have said, "Go to Pharaoh"? ....G‑d brought Moses to the supernal and mighty serpent from which many levels evolve...which Moses feared to approach himself... Zohar.

When G‑d commanded Moses to "Come to Pharaoh," he was telling him to enter into the essence of Pharaoh, into the soul of evil.

He was being told to penetrate beyond the evil of Pharaoh, beyond the mega-ego that insists "I have created Myself," to confront Pharaoh's quintessence: the naked "I" that stems from the very "self" of G‑d.

Moses did not fear the evil of Pharaoh. If G‑d had sent him, G‑d would protect him.

But when G‑d told him to enter into the essence of Pharaoh, he was terrified.

How can a human being behold such a pure manifestation of the Divine truth? A manifestation so sublime that it transcends good and evil and is equally the source of both?

Said G‑d to Moses: "Come to Pharaoh." Come with Me, and together we will enter the great serpent's palace.

Together we will penetrate the self-worship that is the heart of evil. Together we will discover that there is neither substance nor reality to evil - that all it is, is the misappropriation of the divine in man.

If this truth is too terrifying for a human being to confront alone, come with Me, and I will guide you. I will take you into the innermost chamber of Pharaoh's soul, until you come face to face with evil's most zealously guarded secret: that it does not exist.

When you learn this secret, no evil will ever defeat you. When you learn this secret, you and your people will be free.

For more about pharaoh, see The Soul of Evil and The Source of Evil.