web analytics
October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Staying In Harm’s Way

Hamas as Pharoah

Photo Credit: Yori Yanover

One of the saddest elements of Operation Protective Edge (as well as prior Israeli responses to missile attacks from Gaza), and the part that may contribute most directly to twisted anti-Israel sentiment, is Hamas’s willingness to use civilians as human shields, building command centers in residences and positioning weaponry near schools, hospitals, and other communal institutions.

Throughout each military excursion, Israel has demonstrated incredible restraint, avoiding civilians wherever possible (including not attacking strategic targets as a precaution) and even notifying innocent bystanders of impending attacks (at the risk of compromising the war effort).

It’s as if Hamas has pulled a page out of Pharaoh’s handbook. We are well aware that Pharaoh had no desire to let the Jews walk free from Egypt, despite numerous pleas from their leadership. He even went so far as to challenge Hashem’s supreme power and His right to demand His nation’s release: “And Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord that I should heed His voice to let Israel out? I do not know the Lord, nor will I let Israel out” (Shemos 5:2).

Of course, Hashem could easily have compelled the Egyptian monarch to let the Jews out. But that would not have achieved His true purpose of teaching Pharaoh and his people how to see the folly in their ways and seek atonement. In the words of Seforno (Ibid, 7:3):

“Hashem desires the repentance of all men, not their destruction…. [His goal was] to bring the Egyptians to teshuvah through showing them His great power…. If Hashem had not hardened his heart, Pharaoh would have released the Jews, but not out of any desire to turn to Hashem…rather out of an inability to stand up to the pressure; and that would not have been teshuvah at all…. This was a lesson to Klal Yisrael…to teach that Hashem does go a distance with a human being in order to bring him back to true repentance…”

Only after the seventh plague, that of barad (hail), did Pharaoh finally acknowledge his error. “So Pharaoh sent and summoned Moshe and Aharon and said to them, ‘I have sinned this time. The Lord is the righteous One, and I and my people are the evil ones’ ” (Ibid, 9:27).

“Never before did Pharaoh say that Hashem is just. This was achieved only here at barad” (Tanchuma, Va’eira 20).

What was so special about barad as to cause this seismic change in attitude? And why were we now dealing with a conversation of righteous versus evil rather than a straightforward clash of wills?

A close look at the warning that preceded the plague actually indicates that something special was on the way, something that would force a paradigm shift in the way Pharaoh approached God and His people. “This time, I am sending all My plagues into your heart and into your servants and into your people, in order that you know that there is none like Me in the entire earth” (Shemos 9:14).

In fact, Hashem was setting Pharaoh up for an expose, in which his true rebellious intentions would be revealed:

“If you still tread upon My people, not letting them out,behold, I am going to rain down at this time tomorrow a very heavy hail, the likes of which has never been in Egypt from the day of its being founded until now.And now, send, gather in your livestock and all that you have in the field, any man or beast that is found in the field and not brought into the house the hail shall fall on them, and they will die” (Ibid, 17-19).

With a clearly articulated option to avoid damage, one would have thought that Pharaoh and the Egyptian people would have sheltered their animals. But they did not.

About the Author: Rabbi Naphtali Hoff is an executive coach and president of Impactful Coaching & Consulting (www.ImpactfulCoaching.com). He can be reached at President@ImpactfulCoaching.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

5 Responses to “Staying In Harm’s Way”

  1. Thomas Riley says:

    We all have our parts to play :(

  2. Thomas Riley says:

    We all have our parts to play :(

  3. Thomas Riley says:

    We all have our parts to play :(

  4. Scripted by Monty Python?

  5. Scripted by Monty Python?

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Do you know where your vegetables grow?
Not So Kosher Shemittah L’Mehadrin
Latest Indepth Stories
Eller-102414-Cart

I had to hire a babysitter so that I could go shopping or have someone come with me to push Caroline in her wheelchair.

Bills to restore the balance of power in Israel will be fought by the not-so-judicial left.

Widespread agreement in Israel opposing Palestinian diplomatic warfare, commonly called “lawfare.”

Chaye Zisel Braun

Arab terrorism against Jews and the State of Israel is not something we should be “calm” about.

Peace Now Chairman Yariv Oppenheimer

The Israeli left, led by tenured academics, endorses pretty much anything harmful to its own country

We were devastated: The exploitation of our father’s murder as a vehicle for political commentary.

Judea and Samaria (Yesha) have been governed by the IDF and not officially under Israeli sovereignty

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

n past decades, Oman has struck a diplomatic balance between Saudi Arabia, the West, and Iran.

The Torah scroll which my family donated will ride aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier

The Jewish Press endorses the reelection of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. His record as governor these past four years offers eloquent testimony to the experience and vision he has to lead the Empire State for the next four years.

I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.

Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.

The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.

Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.

More Articles from Rabbi Naphtali Hoff

Of all the Jewish holidays, I would say Sukkos is far and away the least appreciated.

Front-Page-082914

While there is no formula that will work for everyone, there are some strategies that if followed carefully and consistently can help our children – and us – gain the most from the upcoming school year.

“If Israel’s offering of land, economic improvements, and even autonomy will not help, what will?”

For breaking his oath of allegiance, Tzidkiyahu was forced to witness the death of his sons before he himself was blinded and exiled to Babylon.

It’s as if Hamas has pulled a page out of Pharaoh’s handbook.

As a guide to others and a foremost member of the Great Assembly, Ezra provided strong leadership and a moral conscience to a people that had lost its way.

For our children, technology is not just another activity that is forbidden on Shabbos.

I can testify from experience, however, that despite such experience and/or training, top-tier leaders often begin their tasks unprepared for the rigors of their new position, particularly when the experience and training focused on instructional leadership (such as classroom observation and curriculum) rather than organizational stewardship and management.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/staying-in-harms-way/2014/07/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: