Parashat Bo

The last plagues. The most terrible. And in a way, the best known. But I don't want to stop at the last one that is THE plague par excellence, Makat Bechorot: the death of the first-born Egyptians. Let's do a general overview of the pests.


According to the midrash, each plague came as a punishment for some action that the Egyptian people had carried out against Bnei Israel. It would be like "paying with the same coin" to the Egyptian people or as the Talmud really says, "midah keneged midah" would be something like that each one receives a reward according to the severity of what they have done. In fact, the tenth plague would have come "in return" for Pharaoh's decree to kill the baby boys of the people of Israel to prevent it from continuing to multiply and fortify, as we read in the beginning of the book of Shemot.


I want to stop, then, a little before the tenth plague. The ninth. Why the ninth plague? Why, darkness, choshech?

The text tells us that the darkness was even denser than the night itself. That for three days (the same number of days that Moshe was denied in his request to Paro to go out to pray in the desert), the Egyptians could not see their brothers in their homes, while the light reigned in the Hebrew homes.


If we follow the concept of equivalent payment or “midah keneged midah”, what was the fault of Pharaoh for which they received “darkness”?


Sometimes we don't see, and sometimes we don't want to see.


Sometimes we have situations in which it is difficult for us to see reality, because there is a dense blanket, for example, of daily tasks that make us not see the important things, or that we simply put them aside.


Other times, we choose out of convenience or selfishness, or worse still, because of that arrogance that often drives us, or out of indifference, not to see what is happening around us. Not seeing if someone needs a help. Not seeing if we should stop our attitude, so as not to continue hurting those who accompany us. Not seeing that we take time from the important to give it to the superfluous. Not seeing that if we did not give the hug at the precise moment that we should give it (or receive it), then later it will not work, the moment will have passed.


Sometimes the darkness blinds us; Most of the time we blind ourselves to the reality that surrounds us.


He stopped, despite the insistence of Moshe and Aaron, he could not see. He did not see the people he oppressed, but neither did he see that HIS people, marked by their pride and pride, would also suffer.


"Vayehi choshech afelah bechol haaretz", there was dense darkness in all the land, "velo rau ish et achiv", the man could not see his brother.


May we do not have veils and real darkness, nor provoked. May we be sensitive to those who need us and to those who need us to see and take them into account. May we can see ourselves and evaluate ourselves as we are beings that live in Community and want to sustain Community. And for this we must have attentive and vigilant eyes to see and decide where we are going and where we want to go.


Gustavo Geier