Parshat Va’eira: Plaguerized

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Confused Sign
22 Jan 2009
Arts & Media

Plagued by a cold confusion,

By a reality so confined and

Constricted, a face so masked

And distorted, it looks to be a

Utopian nirvana to those in

Its super-vise clutches…


A prison so intense, it seems

Like freedom to its prisoners


An exile so deep, the exiled

Think it to be redemption


Night so cold and dark, the blind

Picture it as the warmest sunlight


A world so dazed and lost, its

Inhabitants think it found and



This is the world of which we

Know and have come to love –

This is Egypt: a place where

The body of the beast is wors-

Hipped and the soul of man is


A world where the underbelly

Of society is overfed and the

Understated purity is starved


A world where the boundless

Energy of the Divine Image is

Channeled to creating separation

And our underlying unity stands

Forgotten and alone


Such is life here in Egypt;

And such is how we live.


I am G-d and I shall take you out

From under the burdens of Egypt


And G-d revealed His Name and

The four expressions of redemption;

G-d told the people, through Moshe,

That He will free them; pull them out

Of this unnatural state and take them

To the Holy Land of Israel…


But they did not heed Moshe

Because of shortness of breath

And hard work


But the darkness is so deep, the

Mirage seemingly so real, the breath

So short and the hope shorter yet,

That the people do not heed, cannot

Understand freedom, cannot believe in a

Promised Land and do not recognize G-d


They are so broken they cannot imagine

Ever being whole again…


He held the staff aloft and

Struck the water…

And all the water that was in

The river changed to blood


One must fight a plaguing situation

With a plague of ones own…


When one is in de-Nile one must be

Shaken loose, pulled and dried off:


The first step is turning all that which

Is cold and calculated into that which

Is warm and passionate: turning the

Frigid waters of Egypt into the blood

That is Life…


Then, when one has a purpose, a fire

To live, one can begin throwing off

The shackles that are binding and free

The heart that is bound…


Plagues are not (only) punishments

For the wrongs done –


They are (also) the steps to a refined

Clarity that allows for us to see the

Rights that can be done


Plaguerized – opening the door to the

Prison so that Man can run free

Mendel Jacobson is a writer, poet and journalist living in Brooklyn. His weekly poetry can be seen at

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.