At the beginning of this week’s parsha (and twice in last week’s parsha) Moshe is instructed to warn Pharaoh about the next plague. The phrase that is used is בא אל פרעה – “Come to Pharaoh”. The question is, since Hashem was sending Moshe to speak to Pharaoh surely it should say לך אל פרעה – go to Pharaoh not come to Pharaoh?
Rabbeinu Bachya offers the following explanation: We know that the plagues came in three series of three; the first two had a warning whilst the third did not. The first of those warnings was always given outside and the second was given inside Pharaoh’s palace. בא doesn’t mean “come”, rather “enter” and was a command to warn Pharaoh in his palace. This week’s parsha opens with the eighth plague and therefore the warning was to be given inside Pharaoh’s palace. Pharaoh was too arrogant to admit that Hashem was in charge. Ruling over the vast land of Egypt and living in a lavish palace made him feel omnipotent. The plagues were intended to teach him a lesson, therefore the warnings for the plagues were specifically alternated between his two power bases. We also have two power bases. Our mind (soul) and body (tefillin Shel rosh and Shel yad).
I give everyone a bracha that if we get a sign in one power, we should be wise enough to understand it and apply it in our lives.
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