Over the past two weeks, we have read in our Torah portions, Parashat Va’era last week and Parashat Bo this week, a sum total of ten plagues, which fell on the Egyptians by the hand of God. We learn these stories from a very young age, and recount these stories every year at the Passover Seder. It is the custom of many to drop a bit of wine or grape juice, using either one’s finger, for example, the pinky finger, or a utensil each time we recite the name of a plague at the Passover Seder to indicate that, even when the blood of our enemy is shed, we too shed blood and ‘cry’ for our enemies’ losses. We learn that we cannot rejoice if our enemies suffer, and so we remember that today, by pouring a little bit of wine or grape juice each time we say a plague at the Seder. What are our modern-day plagues? Should we do something similar when we reach this section in our weekly Torah reading?
Let us think about what plagues us today, and how we react when those plagues impact those we love and those to whom we do not have as close a relationship. How can we see God in those relationships? And will we try to make a difference to decrease these plagues?