Knowledge is the engine
That drives man’s progress.
And curiosity it’s fuel.
A simple question can open
The most complicated door
A complicated question can
Close the simplest of issues
And the dismissal of a sincere
Question can forever turnoff
The pistoling valves that pump
So let us question the flat surface
Of what is
With the hope that perhaps we can
Dream and reach the lofty peaks
Of what could be:
G-d said to Moshe
Come to Pharaoh
For I have hardened
How could Moshe’s coming
To Pharaoh ever soften a heart
That has been hardened by the
How could the Divine, the most pure,
The most soft, ever harden anything?
Of hard facts and soft words:
At times it is hard being soft;
Just as at other times it is soft
At times it is hard to come…
But it is precisely at those times
That one must come to what is hard.
False followers shrink away from hard places;
True leaders come to them with reality and softness;
But a softness not ignorant of the harsh realities, a
Softness that is not a weakness but a strength, a
Softness that says: Even in the hardest, most
Difficult person, even in the hardest, most
Difficult situation, with work, hard work
One can reach the softness within…
Pharaoh made callous choices so he became callous;
He made insensitive decisions so he became insensitive −
To the extent that G-d, Reality, in whose eyes everything
Appears as it really is without pretenses or coverups, hardens
His heart. Once, the heart may have been innocent and pure, but
As the dirt started to pile up, the heart itself became soiled, as
The cuts started to accumulate the heart started to scar – you see,
Every time one breaks something, a piece of one’s own heart Breaks as well
The heart has become so hard, Pharaoh’s reality so distorted that
Reality itself, a reflection of our own deeds, has begun to harden
Around the already moldy crust and the possibility of change seems
To be stuck between a rock and, well, a hard place…
Come to Pharaoh
But a hard place is only as hard as the person (with)in it
Moshe: a faithful shepherd − a man who would come to a
The hardest of places, Pharaoh’s heart, because he is a leader
And leaders do anything to get theirs out of hardness…
G-d doesn’t tell Moshe what to do; only to come:
How can Reality tell Moshe how to soften the hardness
When the Reality itself seems to be hardening the heart?
But Moshe is beyond, he knows that through the process
Of the final plagues, the hardness, seemingly insurmountable,
Will begin to melt into a pliant, soft wax whose mold shapes Freedom
May our inner Moshe, our ability at pure redemption,
Come to the inner Pharaoh, the impure coarseness,
And turn it forever from Exile into Redemption!
Mendel Jacobson is a writer, poet and journalist living in Brooklyn. His weekly poetry can be seen at jakeyology.blogspot.com
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.
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