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    Parashat Bo begins
    with the message that
    Hashem commanded
    Moshe to bring to
    Pharaoh before the
    eighth plague, the

    plague of hail. In in-
    troducing this message, Hashem told Moshe

    that Beneh Yisrael will one day relate to their
    children and grandchildren “Et Asher Hit’alalti
    Be’Misrayim” – “how I made a mockery of
    Egypt” (10:2).

    A number of commentators raised the ques-
    tion of why this was said specifically in refer-
    ence to the plague of locusts. Did not all the

    plagues “make a mockery of Egypt,” by show-
    ing Pharaoh that he was powerless, and not the

    Hashem-like figure which he claimed to be?

    The Ben Ish Hai (Rav Yosef Haim of Bagh-
    dad, 1833-1909) explains the particular

    “mockery” that was brought about by the
    plague of locusts. The Torah tells (10:15) that
    the locusts consumed “all that the hail had
    left.” The previous plague, the plague of hail,
    had destroyed all the produce in Egypt, except
    the wheat and “Kusemet,” two staple grains
    which survived. As the Torah explains (9:32),

    these two species withstood the hailstorm be-
    cause they ripen later, and they were thus still

    in their earlier stages of growth such that they

    were soft and capable of surviving harsh ele-
    ments. The Egyptians ridiculed Moshe, noting

    that had he brought the hail just several weeks
    later, after these two species had ripened, the
    job would have been complete. They mocked
    Moshe for what they perceived as foolishness,
    bringing the plague of hail before it could
    destroy all their produce. Hashem therefore
    responded with the plague of locusts, which
    “finished the job,” so-to-speak, consuming all
    that had remained. And thus Hashem made a

    true mockery of the Egyptians – they had ridi-
    culed Him for failing to destroy the wheat and

    “Kusemet,” yet in the end, He destroyed those,
    as well.

    This explains an otherwise perplexing pas-
    sage in the Haggadah, which tells of Rabbi Ye-
    huda’s “Simanim” – the acrostic he made for

    the names of the ten plagues. After we list the
    plagues, we then mention that Rabbi Yehuda
    would refer to them as “Desach,” “Adash”
    and “Be’ahab,” forming three words out of
    the first letters of the plagues’ names, the first
    two words consisting of three letters each,
    and the final word consisting of four letters.
    Many commentators addressed the question
    of why Rabbi Yehuda made this acrostic, and
    why this is noteworthy. Seemingly, it does not
    take any special wisdom or creativity to form
    such an acrostic. One answer is that Rabbi

    Yehuda formed these words in this particu-
    lar arrangement to show that the seventh and

    eighth plagues – hail and locusts – are inte-
    grally connected. The final word in his acrostic

    is “Be’ahab,” which represents the final four
    plagues – “Barad” (hail), “Arbeh” (locusts),
    “Hoshech” (darkness) and “Bechorot” (the
    firstborn). Intuitively, we would have grouped

    the final three plagues separately from the pre-
    vious plagues, because the final three plagues

    are related together in Parashat Bo, whereas
    the first seven are described in Parashat Vaera.
    Rabbi Yehuda therefore created his acrostic

    to teach that in truth, the seventh and eighth
    plagues – hail and locusts – are closely linked.
    Although we happen to read about them in
    two different Parashiyot, they are actually
    to be seen as two stages of a single process.
    The plague of hail ended with false hope for

    the Egyptians, which led them to ridicule
    Hashem, but then plague of locusts came
    and proved them wrong. Together, these two
    plagues proved to the Egyptians the fallacy
    of their beliefs and made a mockery of their
     arrogant sense of power and invincibility.