Wednesday, January 25, 2012

This weeks Parsha- Bo

Karma moves in two directions. If we act virtuously, the seed we plant will result in happiness. If we act non-virtuously, suffering results.
Sakyong Mipham
 In this weeks Parsha, Moshe is instructed from Hashem to continue plaguing the Egytians. From the plagues brought forth, we can see Hashem is a big believer in Karma. Since Pharaoh, yet again, refused to let the Jews free, Moshe stretched out his hand, as per Hashem’s request, and swarms of locust descended upon Egypt. Strangely, the sight of the locusts in the clouds excited the Egyptians. Because the Egyptians were starving at this point, seeing that the plague of pestilence destroyed their livestock and the plague of the hailstones destroyed their crops, they were hoping they could barrel and salt the locusts for food.  
However, the Egyptians were in for a terrible surprise. These locusts were not the delicious meals they had hoped for. Rather they were killing machines equipped with teeth like iron, deadly saliva, wings like eagles, claws like lions, and horns similar to an oxen. They poked out the Egyptian’s eyes and they were insatiable to eat. They devoured everything, from clothes to jewelry; they darkened the sky and clogged up the wells. Not a single blade of grass was left in the land.
Here we can see how Hashem punished the Egyptian’s with this plague for midda-keneged-midda (measure for measure), for having the Jews sow their crops--now the locusts devoured everything the Jews had sown. It is clear to see the old aged saying, what comes around goes around, karma, is being applied even by Hashem.
Moreover, the next plague, darkness, also symbolizes the idea of “measure for measure.” The Egyptians would order the Jews to carry candles and torches for them in dark streets and the Egyptians put the Jews in dark prisons. So to, Hashem punished the Egyptians with darkness, as they imparted the same cruelty upon the Jews.
Additionally, with the tenth plague, the killing of the first born, Hashem killed the Egyptian first born children, just as Pharaoh had ordered that all first born Jewish boys were to be killed. Symbolically, the Jewish people are Hashem’s first born son, and the Egyptian’s were cruel to them because of that. In return, Hashem killed all their first born children.
As we can see Hashem’s retribution against the Egyptians for their mistreatment of the Jews. Furthermore, we should use this as an example for our own lives. The golden rule speaks for itself-“Treat others as you wish to be treated” (that is, saying you are not a masochist or sadist). Need I say more? This is a simple principle to understand, but unfortunately too many of us forget to apply it to our everyday lives.  We should all strive to live a life in accordance to studying Torah and observing mitzvots to be in constant reminder to do chesed and treat people respectfully. When we astray, unfortunately, retribution from Hashem will be waiting.

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