In this week’s Parsha the final three plagues are inflicted upon Egypt. The final plague, the death of the first born was done by God personally. One reason for the plagues is to demonstrate for all time God’s active involvement in world affairs.Echos of the exodus reverberate throughout history.
This week I visited Boston the birthplace of Benjamin Franklin who was a deeply spiritual man and saw Gods hand in the American revolution. “I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? “
Franklin knew the ‘Hebrew scriptures’ or Torah very well. He had even suggested that the Great Seal of America depict Moses standing on the shore of the Red Sea, while Pharaoh drowns in his chariot in its midst. The motto at the bottom of the seal would have read: ‘Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.’
Franklin was among those Founding Fathers who saw in the American Revolution a replaying of the story of the Jewish Exodus from Egypt. King George III was the Pharaoh. George Washington was Moses. The Atlantic Ocean was the Red Sea. And, it was as if God were saying to King George: ‘Let my American people go!’ It is also important to point out that when the Jewish community in Philadelphia built their synagogue, which they named “Mikveh Israel,” Franklin contributed to the building fund himself.
On July 4, 1788, Franklin was too sick and weak to get out of bed, but the Independence Day parade in Philadelphia marched right under his window. And, as Franklin himself had directed, ‘the clergy of different Christian denominations, with the rabbi of the Jews, walked arm in arm. And when he was carried to his grave two years later, his casket was accompanied by all the clergymen of the city, every one of them, of every faith.
Most of the information for this Dvar Torah is directly quoted from
This week I will try and reveal God’s hand in my life.