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Biography of Yehuda Katz | Archives | This Week's Parsha


"But the midwives feared G-d and they did not do as the king of Egypt spoke to them, and they caused the boys to live. " (1:17)

The great and powerful Pharaoh commands these lowly Hebrew midwives to kill every Hebrew male baby, and they refuse to comply with his demands.They instead choose to follow G-d.It's a battle between 2 kings,one tangible (Pharaoh) and one intagible and hidden (G-d). A very chilling and fascinating display of courage. What can we today learn from these woman? And why is the Torah so elaborate as to the details of this occurence? It seems to be a major part of the whole Exodus account! I would like to , Bezrat Hashem, propose an original answer to this question. There is an inner message to this whole story that needs to be brought forth. The story is really a paradigm to our struggles with the "yetzor tov" (good inclination) and the "yetzor hara" (evil inclination).Pharaoh represents the "yetzor hara",and G-d represents the "yetzor tov". Our desires are always vivid,overwhelming and tangible while our "yetzor tov" quiet,intagible and in the background.Pharaoh was indeed an awesome figure to these midwives, yet they chose G-d. How were they able to overcome the temptations to please Pharaoh? Its all a matter of perspective. As onlookers to the unfolding events, we naturally view Pharaoh as an all powerfull figure and G-d somewhere in the background. Yet I think that perhaps the opposite was true for these woman, namely G-d was all powerful a figure and Pharaoh inconsequential. What we perceive and what the reality of these midwives was is quite different. They knew and tangibly felt G-d's presence while Pharaoh was just a mere mortal acting as if he has power to do as he wishes. This is how the midwives chose G-d over Pharaoh. They made their "yetzor tov" awesome, loud and overwhelming while their "yetzor hara" quite and inconsequential. This is their secret. How loud is our "yetzor tov"?Have a good Shabbos


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