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 miracles.

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.