As we approach Passover I, and everyone I know, cannot help but see the ten plagues sent against Egypt in a new way this year.
On ten occasions God sent a plague against the Egyptian people and, time and time again, just as Pharaoh appeared to soften and behave with a bit more compassion the text of the Torah tells us that God hardened his heart.
One of the ten plagues was the plague that began when, as the text of the Torah teaches,
…there was a thick darkness (Exod. 10:22).
The rabbis of old taught:
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“The darkness was twice and twice again thicker [than the darkness of any other night, so that] “no one was able to move from his place for three days” (Exod. 10:23)… During the three days of darkness, the cover of thick cloud made it dark for the Egyptians but gave light to