This week's Parshah begins with G‑d commanding Moses to "come to Pharaoh" and instruct him to release the Jewish people from bondage. Why did G‑d tell Moses to come to Pharaoh and not go to Pharaoh? The Zohar answers that Pharaoh's aura and power overwhelmed Moses and he was afraid to enter Pharaoh's chamber. G‑d then took Moses' hand and invited him to come (along with Him) to Pharaoh.

Opposition From Within

The Zohar also teaches that the power to oppose G‑d comes conversely from G‑d himself. We humans choose whether to engage the power granted by G‑d to serve him or the power granted by G‑d to oppose him. Pharaoh's opposition to G‑d was intense. To accomplish this he unwittingly engaged an intense sphere of Divine power.

In this sense the Hebrew word pharaoh is translated as "uncovered" - i.e. G‑d's raw power to reveal (uncover) his luminescence. The very same power that enables G‑d to uncover his luminescence also enables G‑d to conceal (recover) his luminescence, thus empowering man to deny his existence. The latter, is precisely what Pharaoh chose to do.

When Moses entered Pharaoh's chamber, the powerful aura of Divinity overwhelmed him, though no one else in the room, including Pharaoh, was even able to sense it. G‑d then took his hand and invited him to re-enter. This invitation empowered Moses to confront Pharaoh and ultimately led to the last three plagues, which acted as the harbinger to the Jewish redemption.


In service to G‑d, powerful obstacles often impede our path. For example, a boss threatens to fire us unless we agree to work on Shabbat. A prestigious firm refuses to accept us unless we agree to eat at their non-kosher events. An intimate friend would be prepared to reject us if she discovered that we adhere to the laws of family purity. Can we, too, confront our obstacles and courageously live by our principles and values? Who knows, this may be the harbinger to our own redemption!