Va’eira

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“The sorcerers said to Pharoah: ‘It’s the finger of God!’ but Pharoah’s heart hardened and he didn’t listen.”
~ Shemos 8:15

Unlike the first two plagues, where Pharoah’s advisers used their own sorcery to duplicate the blood and frogs, when it came to the lice they admitted defeat.

Until now every decision Pharoah made was through their trusted counsel, so why did he stop listening?

When someone is obsessed they’re not only blind to the obvious, they’re even deaf to the words of those they trust most.

If people say you’re not listening – don’t get your ears checked – check your ideas.

Shemot

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“The boy grew up and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he was a son to her…
It happened in those days that Moshe grew up and went out to his brothers and saw their burdens.”

~ Shemos 2:10-11

In the Exodus narrative, we’re told of Moses’ journey from prince of Egypt to redeemer of the Jews.

Why repeat that he “grew up” ?

Because people mature in two different ways: either physically through aging or spiritually through experience. Moses’ second “growing up” was the latter, a result of empathizing with his enslaved fellow Jews and then taking responsibility to help them.

Transforming your life into the one you dream of, is a function of you taking responsibility, not aging.

Vayechi

“Cursed be their rage for it is intense, and their anger for its cruel.”
~ Genesis 49:7

On his deathbed, Jacob gathers his sons for final words of encouragement. Some needed rebuke for their mistakes.

Instead of speaking directly, Jacob scolds their anger, why?

Because what parents say either builds or breaks their children, especially when trying to help them improve. The most supportive message is that mistakes – and the emotions which caused them – don’t reflect one’s essence. So Jacob criticises what they felt, not who they are.

How we speak to ourselves should be no different.

Vayigash

“And he sent off his brothers … saying to them: ‘Don’t be too hasty on the way”
~ Genesis 45:24

Joseph isn’t only alive, he rules over all Egypt! Naturally, his brothers want to rush home and share the good news with their father.

Why warn them not to hurry?

Because in the same way everything is part of a divine plan, everything also has its time. So rushing around frantically not only creates the risk of silly mistakes, it actually makes no difference to the result.

Faith means trusting that things will be as they should, when they should.