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Haggadah: The Way They Saw Us: From The Diary of a Former Slave VI Print E-mail

Hagada We were gathered outside at the local well discussing Moses’s most recent lecture on The Patriarchs, and everything that has happened and changed over the last few months. All of a sudden a dark cloud filled the sky and dust began to fall over the Egyptians and everything they owned.

 

The way God protected us from lice was awesome, but I have to tell you that when even dust falls only on Egyptians and not on us, it is even more mind blowing. It was as if the dust was directed by radar! How does God do these things?

The dust, soot actually, stopped falling. We watched the Egyptians brush the dust off their faces and clothes. They were spooked. As we watched blisters and boils just popped out all over their skin. It’s gross.

At this point, we are no longer frightened of catching anything from them, but we stayed far away. The Egyptians looked so disgusting that we couldn’t even go near them, although they have been doing their best to stay far away from us ever since these plagues began. Even their animals are covered in those horrible, pus-filled boils.

We can hear their moans and cries coming from their homes. They can barely move. Once in a while an Egyptians limps outside to get water from the well, and we can see that their boils are steadily increasing in number and size. I’ve known these people all my life, and I can’t even look at them.

One guy said to me, “Do you remember how they would look at us as less than human? They would pretend not to see us, as if we were less than human. Even the “nice” ones would look away to pretend that there were no concentration camps in their neighborhood. I hope they understand what it’s like when someone won’t even look at you as a human being!”

I find it very interesting that in last night’s lecture, Moshe compared what happened to the animals in the previous plague, when God separated between the Egyptian and the Jewish flocks, to when Jacob and Laban separated their herds. He explained that Jacob always acted in a way that would compel people to see themselves. He acted like Eisav so that Eisav would experience what it was like to interact with Eisav. Jacob did the same thing with Laban.

That is exactly what is happening with the boils: The Egyptians are experiencing all the things they did to us. We lived in filthy conditions and got lice, boils and blisters and now it’s happening to them.

I think that God has a great sense of humor, but I must admit that I am nervous because what will happen to me when I do something wrong?

Last night, Moshe said that when God separated our flocks from the Egyptians’, He was teaching us that we must act differently from the Egyptians. Are these punishments what will happen to us if we don’t act differently?

God is awesome. God is powerful. God protects us, but I’m beginning to question how we will have to live in order to preserve that protection.

Some of my friends disagree: “What have we done to earn these miracles and this protection? God will always protect us!”

There are already divisions among us. Some people are planning to go with Moshe wherever he leads them. Some are too frightened of God to follow Moshe. Others, such as myself, have yet to make up our minds.

What would you do?

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