Plague after plague pummeled Egypt, yet the heart of Pharaoh remained hardened and unchanged. Despite, his recalcitrance, God sends Moshe to warn Pharaoh and his advisers before each plague, giving them an opportunity to repent and avoid any further suffering.
For if you do not let My people go, behold, I will incite against you and against your servants and against your people and in your houses a mixture of noxious creatures, and the houses of Egypt will be filled with the mixture of noxious creatures, as well as the land upon which they are. And I will separate on that day the land of Goshen, upon which My people stand, that there will be no mixture of noxious creatures there, in order that you know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth. And I will make a distinction between My people and your people; this sign will come about tomorrow.” (Shemos 9:17-19)
It is in these verses that Moshe warns of the impending plague of arov (wild animals). Moshe says, “v’samti fedus beyn ami l’beyn amecha, machar yihiyeh ha’os ha’zeh, And I will make a distinction between My people and your people; this sign will come about tomorrow.” On a simple level, Moshe is explaining that wild animals will overrun Egypt but will not enter into the Jewish city of Goshen. The great Chassidic master, Rabbi Avraham Simcha of Baranov, provides an incredible insight:
V’samti fedus beyn ami l’beyn amecha, And I will make a distinction between My people and your people – what is the major distinction between the Jewish people and the other nations? Or more specifically, what is the most unique characteristic of our people?
Machar yihiyeh ha’os ha’zeh, this sign will come about tomorrow – the power of belief in tomorrow.
When the Jew suffers and faces adversity, he does not lose his footing and resolve. When we encounter tragedy and pain, we maintain our composure and remain connected to our life mission. Why? I believe in tomorrow. I know that no matter how difficult today may be, Hashem is by my side, and there will be a tomorrow. I will make it through the challenges. I will weather the storms. I will fight my way out of today and with the help of God, make it to see tomorrow. I don’t delude myself into thinking that tomorrow will be easy, but the belief in tomorrow allows me to avoid getting swallowed up by the challenges of today. This is the strength of the Jew; this is the koach of our people.
Each of us contends with life challenges. For some it is relationships, for others it is health, for some it is finances, and for others, it may be all of the above. At times, our challenges seem so enormous that they block out the light, and we feel lost in the darkness of our circumstances. In those moments, let us say the words, machar yihiyeh ha’os ha’zeh, tomorrow is the sign that I will succeed. Sometimes, all we need to do it make it through today and reach tomorrow. The knowledge that we can get from the difficulties of today to the unrealized potential of tomorrow gives us the necessary burst of strength and hope.