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    Egyptian shame – B’shallach

    ten plaguesThe Torah readings in recent weeks dealt with the ten plagues.

    We find them listed in short form in the Haggadah. They are part of Jewish history.

    But they don’t seem to figure in the Egyptian records. Strange, since they must have devastated the country and brought immense suffering to the local inhabitants.

    There is a popular view that ancient peoples preferred to boast of their victories and to downplay their defeats.

    Probably true, but there is an extra dimension in the case of the land of the Pharaohs.

    It was a culture that believed in gods (possibly it was even on the way to a form of monotheism).

    No wonder Dr Duncan Hoyte says in an article in the Medical Journal of Australia in 1993, writing about the tenth plague but with relevance to the whole series, “There is no Egyptian record of the plague because, after all the previous plagues, it represented yet another failure of their gods to protect them”.

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