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The Ten Plagues


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When people defy the Will of God, they bring pain and suffering upon themselves. God's Law aims for the welfare and happiness of all mankind. To deny His Law and to do evil brings destruction upon those who perpetrate it. When Pharaoh defied the command of God to release the Jewish people. he invited adversity upon himself and his own people.
Though the plagues that were visited upon the Egyptians were the result of their own evil, we do not rejoice over their downfall and defeat.
Judaism regards all people as children of God, even enemies who seek to destroy our people When, for the sake of our welfare, they met with suffering and death, we mourn their loss and express sorrow over their destruction
A full cup is the symbol of complete joy. Though we celebrate the triumph of our sacred cause, our happiness is not complete so long as others had to be sacrificed for its sake. We shall, therefore, diminish the wine in our cups, as we recall the plagues visited upon the Egyptians, to give expression to our sorrow over the losses which each plague exacted. We now recite the list of Ten Plagues, pouring off wine as each one is mentioned.
Pour drops from cup into saucer as everyone recites together
All: DOM. TZ'FAR-DAY-A. KEE-NEEM. O-ROV. DE-VER. SH'CHEEN. BO-ROD. AR-BEH. CHO-SHECH. MA-KAS B'CHO-BOS.
BloodDOM
FrogsTZ'FAR-DAY-A
LiceKEE-NEEM
Wild BeastsO-ROV
MurrainDE-VER
BoilsSH'CHEEN
HailBO-ROD
LocustsAR-BEH
DarknesCHO-SHECH
Death of first bornMA-KAS B'CHO-BOS
Leader: Let us sing a song about the morning Pharoah found the frogs:
Since God could have removed Israel from Egypt in one swift act of liberation, what was the point of prolonging the process - ten plagues and then trapping the Egyptians in the Red Sea?
God answers this query in the Torah. "I could have stretched forth My hand and stricken you (Pharaoh) and your people and you would have been effaced from the earth. Nevertheless, I have spared you for this purpose" (Ex. 9:15-16). "I will multiply My signs and marvels in the land of Egypt .. and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord" (Ex. 7:3,5).
God's goal is not merely the physical liberation of slaves, but the spiritual liberation of Pharaoh from his illusions of total power. To know deep down that Egypt has no right to enslave others means to dispel the religious foundation of Pharaoh's idolatrous self-deification.
God's battle for recognition in the eyes of ancient Egyptian civilization is achievable only by a long series of blows to its self-esteem that gradually chip away at their self-evident preeminence as one of the longest lasting empires in human history.



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