This time I have sinned; Hashem is the Righteous One and I and my people are the wicked ones. (Shemos 9:27)
Pharaoh thought he was a god. He thought he was better than everyone else in the world, including Hashem. But suddenly, after the plague of hail, everything changed. Pharaoh screams out that he was wrong and Hashem is righteous. Why the sudden change?
The reason is because Pharaoh saw Hashem & Moshe do a kindness. Before the hail was sent which destroyed everything outside, Hashem sent a warning (through Moshe) to Pharaoh. Anything you leave outside during the plague of hail will be destroyed. Anything brought inside will not be. Now think about this – Pharaoh is this nasty guy. He has denied G-d. He’s gone through six plagues and refuses to listen. Although Pharaoh felt he was correct, he knew that in Moshe’s opinion he was very wrong. Yet, Moshe went out of his way to do a kindness and give a warning to Pharaoh to bring everything inside. When the hail came and Pharaoh saw the care that Moshe had, his heart melted. He realized that Moshe cares about him. When someone shows care for another, it is almost impossible for the other person not to feel care for that person also. Even Pharaoh, one of the most wicked men of all times, felt care for Moshe at this time and was able to see the truth.
What a lesson for us! Ever try to influence someone? I remember before I was religious there were three people who cornered me in a room to tell me that something I was doing was inappropriate. I agreed with what they were saying, but I continued doing what I was doing. This was because they didn’t have care for me so why should I listen to them.
Compare that to someone who tremendously influenced me when I was becoming religious. There was a family who I liked visiting for Shabbos and one week they bought pineapple noodle kugel. The father of the family noticed that I loved this kugel. Well, every time I came to visit them again for Shabbos (which was fairly often), there was pineapple noodle kugel. They spent extra money on Shabbos just because I liked this kugel. I have a deep care for them because they had a deep care for me.
Want to influence someone? Show them kindness and caring!
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