Makkas Barad it says that הירא את דבר השם, the ones who feared Hashem, brought their animals inside before the hail began in order to save their property. But didn’t they all see what Moshe Rabeinu had been doing with the Makkos already for such a long time? How could there be anyone who wasn’t yarei es Hashem?
Let me tell you something. Everybody has middos; and there were many people who were opposed to Moshe Rabeinu. The Mitzri’im especially. They were angry at him, and they thought that Moshe Rabeinu was limited in his ability to do things. And even though they could be convinced because of the past nissim that took place, the akshanus in them made them stubborn and say, “No. It won’t happen.”
I’ll give a mashal today. Today there is a world of evolutionists, apikorsim. But it’s been shown to them already that things are so purposefully complicated that it’s possible only if it was “designed by a great intelligence,” like one writer said. He himself said he doesn’t know who made it, but one thing is for sure, it didn’t make itself. That’s out of the question. And still the evolutionists are stubborn and they continue despite all the proofs. There’s a whole literature now against them; it’s a shame to be an evolutionist today.
I saw an article in The Wall Street Journal. The title was The Church of Darwin. Darwin has a church. It’s an emunah. They believe in it, that’s all. It’s stupid, it’s sheker, it’s impossible, but they don’t care. They believe in it anyhow.
And so there were people among the Egyptians who were stubborn and wouldn’t listen to Moshe Rabeinu no matter what. Yes; there were plenty of them. You see that Pharaoh always continued to be stubborn and refused to listen.
Now there were some people, however, who had learned from experience to be afraid of Hashem. They had learned that. They become yarei from the previous experiences.
When a man becomes a yarei because he learned already what happened before, there’s a chochmah in him. There’s a certain chochmah of learning from experience. And by the way, וגם ערב רב עלה איתם – when the time came to go out of Mitzrayim the best people of Mitzrayim went along with them. And some of them were people who had learned yiras shomayim. Some Egyptians learned yiras shomayim; למען תדע כי אין כמוני בארץ. That was the purpose of the Makkos, and some people learned that. And they were the ones of Mitzrayim who came out. And therefore there were some who were yarei es devar Hashem.
But why were some not yarei? Because that’s the nature of people who are wicked and refuse to acknowledge the truth no matter how many proofs they heard to convince them.
TAPE # E-215 (February 2000)