We do not rejoice at suffering. However, in order to gain our freedom, the Egyptians had to suffer. All of us are human beings made in the image of the Eternal. It is said that when the Red Sea closed over the pursuing Egyptian troops, the angels rejoiced until Adonai rebuked them: “Do not rejoice! Those are my children as well!” In the same way, we should regret what had to be done to the Egyptians that we might be made free, and recognize that even the stranger is a human being like us.

So to remember the plagues that freed us from Egypt, we will pour out a drop of our wine for each plague as we recite their names. Please use your finger or a spoon and drop the wine onto your seder plate as we recite the names in English and in Hebrew:

Blood | dam |דָּם

Frogs | tzfardeiya |צְפַרְדֵּֽעַ

Lice | kinim |כִּנִּים

Beasts | arov |עָרוֹב

Cattle disease | dever |דֶּֽבֶר

Boils | sh’chin |שְׁחִין

Hail | barad |בָּרָד

Locusts | arbeh |אַרְבֶּה

Darkness | choshech |חֹֽשֶׁךְ

Death of the Firstborn | makat b’chorot |מַכַּת בְּכוֹרוֹת

Just as we often do, the Egyptians found ways to rationalize away the implications of these ten plagues, until the final one that could not be rationalized away. They were also human, and they resisted, rather than change what they were doing. How are we like the Egyptians in this respect? What could we change, but are not changing because it would be painful, or uncomfortable, or inconvenient?

haggadah Section: -- Ten Plagues
Source: Adam Sanford