In Va’era, Moses pleads with pharaoh to let his people go. Unfortunately, Pharaoh hardened his heart to change, to the idea of letting the Jews go. This only brought plagues upon him and the people of Egypt. But still, Pharaoh held onto the Hebrew slaves. He did not let them go. Pharaoh was unable to face up to the realities of his present situation.
But pharaoh was not the only one who had to let something go in order to face the realities of the present— Moses, who was reared in the Egyptian community, in the house of Pharaoh, had to let go of his past identity and begin to realize his identity as a Hebrew. He was now standing up for the Hebrews, asserting his identity as an Israelite, and no longer able to live in the past of his privileged Egyptian life. Embracing his present situation could not have been easy.
At some point, each of us finds that we have to let go. We must break out of these cycles of living in the past or living in the future. We must consider our present. Change is hard. We get stuck in our ways. Our hearts are hardened to the possibility of something new. Many have to hit rock bottom and endure many plagues before even thinking about letting go. Don't be that guy.
The above is a reflection by Rabbi Heather Miller on this week's Torah portion, Parashat Va'era, Exodus 6:2-9:35. Please visit rabbiheathermiller.com to subscribe and follow on social media.