Moses was eighty years old, and his brother eighty-three, when they entered the palace of King Pharaoh. Fearlessly, they went past the heavy guard of men and wild animals that surrounded his inner chambers, and which permitted no unbidden visitor to enter. Nobody had ever been able to see the King of Egypt in person, or speak to him, except his astrologers and counselors.

Astonished and frightened by their sudden appearance, Pharaoh asked the two brothers what they wanted. The message sounded like a command: "Thus has the Lord, G‑d of Israel, said, 'Let My people go, that they may feast to Me in the desert.' "

Pharaoh haughtily refused, saying that he had never heard of the G‑d of the Israelites, and that His name was not registered in his lists of gods of all nations. He further accused Moses and Aaron of a conspiracy against the government, and of interference with the work of the Hebrew slaves. The miracles they performed in his presence did not greatly impress him, for his magicians could do almost as well.

On the same day Pharaoh ordered his supervisors to increase the demands on the children of Israel and to make their burden still heavier. If they had time to think of liberty and worship of G‑d and similar ideas, quite unbecoming of slaves, then they must be getting too much leisure time, Pharaoh thought.

Whereas until now they had been supplied with the raw materials for their work, they now had to procure their own raw materials for bricks, while continuing to produce the same amount.

The children of Israel were physically unable to cope with such an impossible task, and they suffered even more than before. In desperation, the children of Israel bitterly reproached Moses and Aaron for making their fate even worse, instead of helping them.

Deeply hurt and disappointed, Moses prayed to G‑d. G‑d consoled him and assured him that his mission eventually would be successful, but not before Pharaoh and all of Egypt were smitten by terrible plagues, in order to be adequately punished for oppressing the children of Israel.

The children of Israel would then also see and recognize their true and faithful G‑d.