This past summer we were at an ice cream shop with our grandchildren, and I asked my unbashful grandson Moshe if he would sing us a song. He got up on his chair and began singing loudly, “Pharoh in pajamas in the middle of the night.” As he was belting this out, we were further enchanted when the family sitting behind us, enthusiastically began chiming in to the song.

What’s this kid’s favorite jingle all about? The Torah tells us that Pharoh was warned about the final plague – the slaying of the first-born. Now, Pharoh himself was a first-born, which meant this plague was a threat to his life. We would imagine that he would be concerned by waiting up until midnight to see what would transpire. Yet, the Torah tells us, at the moment of the slaying of the first-born there was a great outcry in Egypt, and Pharoh awoke from his sleep. That means Pharoh got into pajamas as usual and retired for the night. When he awoke and saw the reality of Moshe’s warning, the Torah tells us that he went out into the streets to find where Moshe lived to tell him that the Jews are freed.

The jingle is a jest about Pharoh’s stubborn attitude. He was desperately running through the streets trying to find Moshe, still dressed in his pajamas, so that he would not become a victim of the plague.

April 8th 2024 was a date predicted hundreds of years ago that a total solar eclipse will occur. Millions of people were enthralled by it, either traveling to see it or viewing it when the eclipse reached their area. I don’t believe there were any deniers of the eclipse. It was a natural phenomenon; the timing was precise and predictable.

Let’s turn to Pharoh’s attitude to the warnings and predictions of the ten plagues that G-d sent upon him and his nation. Okay, blood came as Moshe warned, but the Pharoh’s magicians were able to do it as well. The frogs came as he was warned, and Pharoh asked Moshe to get rid of them. Moshe asked when Pharoh wanted them gone? Pharoh said, pray today that they leave tomorrow, and so it was.

When the plague of lice descended, Pharoh’s magicians proclaimed this is definitely through G-d! Pharoh ignored their conclusive evidence of G-d being behind the plagues.

When the plague of wild beasts invaded Egypt, Pharoh called for Moshe to stop the plague. Moshe prayed, and the plague stopped with the same precision as it started.

Moshe warned Pharoh of pestilence and told him it would happen the next day, and it did. The accuracy of the plague’s predictions didn’t deter Pharoh from his denial of G-d.

The plague of boils came and the Egyptians suffered personally, yet Pharoh was undeterred.

When Moshe warned of the plague of hail mixed with fire and Pharoh refused to let the Jews go, Rashi tells us that Moshe drew a line in the wall, and told Pharoh, the plague will descend precisely at the same time the sun hits this mark, the next day. Pharoh wasn’t fazed by the accuracy. Eventually, Pharoh did ask Moshe to pray to G-d; Moshe prayed and the plague stopped. This also didn’t affect Pharoh’s position, and he refused to let the Jews out.

Moshe warned about the impending plague of locusts. Pharoh at first dismissed Moshe from the palace. However, the Egyptians by this time had enough and Pharoh’s servants asked him to rethink his position. Pharoh called Moshe back and the negotiations fell short, and the plague descended upon them.

The plague of darkness came upon the Egyptians and Pharoh called for Moshe and he still did not give in to let the Jews out.

It took the plague of the slaying of the first-born, when Pharoh himself was targeted, to get him out of bed, in pajamas, to give in, and allow the Jews to leave.

Pharoh’s stubborn attitude was the precursor to the position of those who hate us, to ignore our firm position of trust in the One Above and that He is always watching over us. Our existence through all the hate and unprecedented plans to exterminate us is a testimony to G-d’s commitment and promise in the Torah that we will always be around and we will prevail! Yet, they keep on hating and starting up with us.

Pesach and the Seder are the essence of our survival. We all gather and display, discuss, partake, and reminisce about the story and events of the Egyptian servitude and our miraculous exodus. This creates an infusion of trust in the Almighty and our hope that G-d will once again redeem us from the Pharoh imitators that we are currently experiencing and witnessing.

This Shabbos is called Shabbos Hagodol – the great Shabbos. It refers to the bold move the Jews in Egypt took when on the Shabbos before they left Egypt they took a male sheep into their homes for the purposes of offering it four days later as the Pascal offering. This was done under the watchful eyes of the Egyptians. As perturbed as they were to see their free to roam deity being brought into the Jewish homes, the Egyptians did not harm the Jews.

Our Kabalistic masters teach us that whatever spirituality one infuses into the holy day of Shabbos impacts on the upcoming week. When the Jews in Egypt took the lamb into their homes for the purposes of the Pascal lamb so that they would be freed, it infused the spiritual energy of redemption into the following week, thus they were freed on that Thursday.

The Jews in Egypt did not have the Torah, yet their commitment was shown through their Mitzvah action of heeding Moshe to take the sheep into their homes.

We, who have the Torah, have opportunities to infuse the Shabbos with our observances of the day and with our study of Torah and Mitzvos. On Shabbos Hagodol, some have the custom to read a part of the Hagada to familiarize themselves with the proceedings. The rabbi of the congregation gives a special speech delineating the laws of Pesach.

The Torah states, the night of Passover is “Leil Shimurim – a night of G-d’s special watching and protection over us.” This recurs each year. Additionally, our Sages derive from this statement that the night of Passover is reserved for our future redemption as well.

Says one of our great commentators, just as our ancestors in Egypt were freed from Egypt due to their actions on the preceding Shabbos, so too, when we study about Pesach and listen to a speech in preparation of Pesach on the Shabbos before, it infuses the upcoming week with the power of redemption.

We hope that just as G-d redeemed our ancestors from Egypt due to their devotion, so too, may G-d redeem us from our dire situation with our ultimate redemption which we anticipate. And rest assured, we will be dressed in our finest to greet it – Lashana Habah B’Yerushalayim!