26 Tevet 5774
At the conclusion of Shabbat, when I checked the news, my breath caught in my throat when I saw this story:
Kerry has offered Israel the release of Pollard as part of discussions about an upcoming release of terrorists, says Channel 10 report.But, almost immediately, suspicions crowded into my thoughts. Secretary Kerry is not President Obama. And didn't even former President Clinton go back on his own word to release Pollard?
Today, this is the headline:
The White House has announced that Jonathan Pollard will not be released despite the request of the PM to condition terrorist release and progress with negotiations with Pollard's pardon.
But, gam zu l'tova, because where have we heard this before? Parshat Va'eira: "So Pharaoh's heart stiffened and he would not let the Israelites go." It is certainly no coincidence that this matter has arisen during the weeks that we are reading about Pharaoh and his insistence on keeping the Israelites enslaved to him. Obama's insistence on keeping Jonathan Pollard in prison is no less astounding.
So what is coming in Parshat Bo?
"Pharaoh's courtiers said to him, "How long shall this one be a snare to us? Let the men go to worship the Lord their God! Are you not yet aware that Egypt is lost?"
In this week's Torah Tidbits, I read the following insightful commentary:
In warning about HAIL, G-d says (through Moshe) that this time, I will send ALL My plagues... The Vilna Ga'on explains that G-d uses 3 main weapons, so to speak, to punish those who violate His commands - Fire, Water and Wind. For example, to destroy Dor HaMabul, G-d used Water. Dor Hap'laga, He used Wind, and to destroy S'dom, His main weapon was Fire. The plague of blood used Water. Plague 6 was the burning Fire of Boils on the skin. The locust came on the Wind. But Hail consisted of the whole arsenal. The Hail itself was Water, it had Fire in it, and the Hail was accompanied by strong Wind - hence the phrase: All My plagues.
Beware, Modern Egypt, what is to come! Parshat BO may be coming for Barak Obama!!