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All of us become stubborn at times.  We don’t want to listen to what others are telling us about ourselves.  It’s hard to change and we resist.  None of us want to listen to difficult truths.

Likewise with Pharoah, the leader of Egypt, in our Biblical portion.  He didn’t want to listen to Moses.  He didn’t want to let the Israelites go.  He hardened his heart, so plague after plague ensued.

When we refuse to listen, life becomes harder.  We become “plagued” with problems.  But we can minimize stubbornness in ourselves and our children.  Gentleness is the key.  The more we push, the more others push back, the more stubbornness we encounter.  On the other hand, going softly might make for less resistance.

TALK TO YOUR KIDS about how Pharaoh’s stubbornness caused great harm.


  • Have you ever wanted to make up with a friend, sibling, or parent, only to find it very difficult to bring yourself to do so?
  • What makes people become stubborn?
  • What can help family members be less stubborn?

By Rabbi Dianne Cohler-Esses

Values & Ethics—Through a Jewish Lens is created by Fred and Joyce Claar to bring the wisdom of Judaism into family discussions.