Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Bo

Really Big

By Rabbi Raymond Beyda

The stubbornness of Par-oh in the face of almost one year of devastating plagues is unparalleled in human history. To simply say he hardened his heart sheds no light on the weakness in his character that would blind him to the path of submission that would have saved his country from disaster.

The Torah states that when Par-oh entered his palace, he suddenly had a change of heart and would reject the demands of Moshe and Aharon for freedom for the Jews. “And he came into his house and did not concern his heart with this [warning] either”. Shemot 7:15 Rabenu Bahye adds that the wicked king Nebudhadnezar was also proud of his palace and therefore became haughty.

The question is: These monarchs had fame, success and power – Why did their palace make them conceited when they had so much else of which to be proud? The lesson is that arrogance is not an intellectual response, but instead an emotional one. A beautiful home with its opulent décor aroused feelings of ga-avah – arrogance – more that wealth and power did intellectually.

We live in a society where exterior trappings define the man. Clothing – cars – and big-boy toys define a person to friends and neighbors more than the real person does. More dangerous is the fact that these not so meaningful possessions transform the way one looks at oneself as well. A simple man surrounded by lavish trappings sees a distorted self-image that may very well lead to haughty behavior beyond one’s true worth as a human being and as a member of society. Wrong decisions and poor choices are sure to follow the blindness of conceit.

The Jewish home has been a paradigm for an environment conducive to spiritual growth and boundless self-improvement through the ages. Even the wicked prophet Bil-am praised, “Ma tovu ohalekha Yisrael – How goodly are your tents Israel” as he perused the modest life style of our ancestors. We should all take a close look at our priorities and re-establish our homes as a beautiful environment to nurture ourselves and our children in a life of happiness and contentment steeped in Torah values.

Shabbat Shalom


Text Copyright © 2006 by Rabbi Raymond Beyda and Torah.org.


 

ARTICLES ON BALAK:

View Complete List

Bilaam's Curses Transformed into Blessings
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5770

You Can't Pick Your Cards...
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5757

Why was Balak Worried?
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5757

> The Good Tents
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5761

The Apter Rebbe Bends The Rules For Ahavas Yisrael
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5768

Putting the Cart Before the Horse
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5763

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

A Generation Repents
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

A Good Kind of Cover-up
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

Ph.D. in Morals
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

Looking for a Chavrusah?

A Purifying Proccess
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5762

Our Relevance to the Infinite
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5762

Hear What You Want
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5765

ArtScroll

Money Order - Getting Our Priorities Straight
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

Living Through Death
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

Don't Take it Personally!
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761

A Local Call
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5767



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information