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January 3, 2016 / conservadox

Dvar Torah- Vayerah

In this week’s Torah portion, there are references to God hardening the heart of the Egyptian king.  If man has free choice how can God harden anyone’s heart? Isn’t that depriving him of free choice?

Arama tries to explain the matter this way:  the plagues that Egypt suffers in the portion were punishments for their sins.  But the plagues could have been so overwhelming as to force him to repent instantly.  Instead, the plagues were spread out one by one.  Arama adds: “When each stage of the punishment is not as severe as it could be, namely resulting in probable death, the victim is far less likely to really repent.”

In other words, God wasn’t really making repentance impossible- just making non-repentance possible by making the plagues only moderately overwhelming.  (For some other views go here).

 

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One Comment

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  1. Shira Salamone / Jan 6 2016 6:05 pm

    Vayera is a different parashah–this week’s is Vaera.

    The view of a former rabbi of mine was that the plagues were the manifestation of a war between the Jewish god and the Egyptian “god” (Pharaoh).

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