Vol 36.05 - Va'eira 2 Spanish French Audio Video
The connection of the end of the Haftorah - "I will give you free speech in their midst" (Ezekiel 29:21) to the topic of the Parsha;
(5751 Vol. XXXVI, pp. 33-37)
For the Sake of the Jewish People
Others of our Sages explain that G-d hardened Pharaoh's heart and "increased His signs and miracles" in order that Pharaoh and Egypt regret their insubordination and subdue themselves before G-d -- "leading the Egyptians to repentance as He made known His greatness."
In point of fact, these aren't divergent explanations, they are essentially one and the same: Punishment was meted out to Egypt in order to demolish and nullify the Egyptian evil entity, so as to reveal G-d's majesty within the world.
Rashi, however, explains "I shall harden Pharaoh's heart" in the following manner: "Because Pharaoh sinned and acted impudently before Me. Since I know that idolaters do not repent from the depths of their hearts, therefore it is better for Me that his heart be hardened, so that I may increase My miracles and the Jewish people will recognize My might. Such is the conduct of the A-mighty, bringing punishment upon idolaters so that the Jewish people hear of it and come to fear Him."
We observe that according to Rashi, there is yet an additional purpose in the multitude of signs and miracles, that of instructing the Jewish people.
This is stated explicitly in the verse at the beginning of the Torah Portion Bo: "I have made him and his advisors obstinate, so that I will be able to demonstrate these miraculous signs among them. So that you be able to relate to your children and grandchildren how I made sport of the Egyptians, and how I performed miraculous signs among them. [All of this being done,] so that you know that I am G-d."
Thus, hardening Pharaoh's heart and the plagues wrought upon the Egyptians were mainly for the benefit of the Jewish people, as Rashi states: "Such is the conduct of the A-mighty, bringing punishment upon idolaters so that the Jewish people hear of it and come to fear Him."
What compels Rashi to provide an additional reason for the signs and miracles; in any case it was necessary for the plagues to be brought upon the Egyptians in order to mete out punishment, as well as for the Egyptians to know "that I am G-d." What is gained by stating that this was also for the purpose of the Jewish people fearing G-d?
As known, all of creation was created by G-d for the sake of the Torah and the Jewish people. This is so not only with regard to creation as a whole, but also with regard to all matters and events -- they are not entities unto themselves, rather, all are for the dual purpose of the Torah and the Jewish people. Thus, not only are all events Providential, but they reach their truest and most complete state when the Torah and the Jewish people benefit from them.
This is also true regarding specific events whose cause and reason is provided: their most authentic and complete state is attained when they are of service to the Jewish people. For the world is not an entity unto itself, it is G-d's creation for the sake of Torah and the Jewish people. Therefore, the G-dly revelation contained within the world as a whole achieves its most complete state when it relates to and is revealed within the Jewish people.
Here, too, as well: G-d's retribution from Pharaoh and Egypt was indeed a result of their actions towards the Jewish people; also by exacting judgment He kept His promise to Abraham, as G-d had told him, "They will be enslaved and oppressed. But I will bring judgment against the nation who enslaves them." Moreover, G-d's retribution from Pharaoh and Egypt also resulted in "and Egypt shall know that I am G-d."
Nevertheless, all the above fails to fulfill in its entirety that which was stated above, that the singular purpose of all these signs and miracles were ultimately for the sake of the Jewish people.
Therefore Rashi emphasizes the inner meaning of the verse "I shall harden Pharaoh's heart, and increase My signs and miracles in the land of Egypt" -- "therefore it is better for Me that his heart be hardened, so that I may increase My miracles and the Jewish people will recognize My might. Such is the conduct of the A-mighty, bringing punishment upon idolaters so that the Jewish people hear of it and come to fear Him."
Rashi points out that all correction that is meted out to the nations -- even when it serves the cause of punishment and retribution -- has as its main purpose that of ultimately being of service to the Jewish people, "so that the Jewish people recognize My might ... and come to fear Him," "and know that I am G-d."
( From http://www.sichos-in-english.org/books/chassidic-dimension-5/14.htm)
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