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    The ninth plague
    which Hashem brought
    upon the Egyptians was
    חושך – the plague of

    darkness. The Egyp-
    tians were plunged into

    darkness for six days,
    while Beneh Yisrael had light. The Rabbis
    teach that for three days, the Egyptians could
    not see anything, and during the other three
    days, the air was not just dark, but thick, to
    the point where the Egyptians could not
    even move. They were stuck in their places
    for three days.

    I always wondered, how did the Egyp-
    tians eat during those three days? If they

    couldn’t move, how did they obtain food?
    The answer is given by the Netziv, in his
    Ha’amek Davar commentary, where he
    writes something remarkable. He explains
    that since Beneh Yisrael were able to move
    and see, they went into the Egyptians’ homes

    and fed them. They took care of the Egyp-
    tians who were unable to move during those

    few days.
    The Netziv writes that this is why, as the
    Torah tells later, the Egyptians gladly gave
    Beneh Yisrael their belongings at the time of
    Yetziat Mitzrayim. Before Beneh Yisrael

    left, they approached their Egyptian neigh-
    bors and asked for their utensils and cloth-
    ing, and the Torah says that Beneh Yisrael

    “found favor” in the eyes of the Egyptians,
    who gladly gave them their possessions.
    The Netziv explains that the Egyptians were

    so grateful to Beneh Yisrael, and so im-
    pressed by what they did during the plague

    of darkness, that they happily gave them
    their belongings.
    As the plagues unfolded, Beneh Yisrael
    did not look smugly upon the Egyptians, nor
    did they become insensitive to them. They
    were kind and caring, even as they began to
    rise and the Egyptians began to decline.

    Sometimes, we forget about how sensi-
    tive we need to be around people who do not

    enjoy the blessings we have.
    A person told me that two women from

    the community were sitting at a beauty par-
    lor and talking with one another. One was

    talking about the nurse who was taking care

    of her baby. They spoke about housekeep-
    ing help, and the trouble they were having

    finding good housekeepers. They spoke
    about the decisions they needed to make
    about which luxury car to lease. These
    women were completely oblivious to the
    fact that the employees working on their hair
    were probably earning around $15 per hour.
    I’m sure these aren’t bad people. They
    are probably nice and considerate women.

    But sometimes we simply forget that oth-
    er people do not necessarily enjoy the

    blessings that we have, and it could be
    very hurtful for them to hear us talk about

    a lifestyle that they cannot possibly af-

    We need to think very carefully before
    we talk about our children’s successes in
    the presence of people who don’t have

    children, or who are having serious prob-
    lems with their children. We need to

    think very carefully before we talk about
    our vacations in the presence of people
    who cannot afford to go on vacation. And

    we must be extremely careful before post-
    ing pictures of our vacations on social

    The Torah tells that before Yetziat
    Mizrayim, Moshe Rabbenu was held in
    בעיני עבדי פרעה -ובעיני העם esteem high very
    – in the eyes of Pharaoh’s noblemen, and in
    the eyes of the people. As Moshe rose to
    prominence, he earned the admiration of all
    kinds of people – both the rich aristocrats,
    and the simple, ordinary people. He was
    able to relate to all of them, because he cared
    about all of them.
    When we achieve success, of any kind,
    we must not forget about those who are not
    as successful. We should never be oblivious
    to the fact that there are others who are

    struggling, whose jealousy could easily be

    aroused by our remarks about our house-
    keepers, our cars, our vacations, our children

    and our family celebrations.
    Let us always remember that although we
    are blessed with “light,” there are others
    who sit in “darkness,” who do not enjoy the
    same blessings and achievements that we
    do. Like our ancestors in Egypt, let us be
    considerate and compassionate, and be kind
    and sensitive towards all people, realizing
    that they may be struggling and going
    through things that we know nothing about.