Mel Brooks has a character he calls “the 2000 Year Old Man”. They find a man in a cave who’s 2,000 years old, who gives us his perspectives on history. (He incidentally has a Yiddish accent).

Asked how fire was discovered, the Mel Brooks character talks about a guy named Phil. Phil was a big, big guy – they were all afraid of Phil and everybody did what Phil said.

As Brooks tells it, one day they were all roasting marshmallows around the fire, a bolt of lightning came down from the sky, and instantly electrocuted Phil.

They knew then there was somebody bigger than Phil.

The Torah during these weeks is telling much the same story. Pharaoh’s refrain of “Who is this G-d that I should listen to him” ┬áis met by plague after plague. A fairy tale? A true occurrence? Many see these stories in many different ways.

However you frame the stories, the message is the same. There’s somebody bigger than us. In the Torah’s case that is the invitation not to fear, but to higher values and to leading a purposeful life.

Blessings and Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Mark Biller