• April 10, 2021

TEXAS VIEW: Plagues, hail, and darkness - Odessa American: Texas Opinion

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TEXAS VIEW: Plagues, hail, and darkness

THE POINT: Are we living through a modern Exodus? Where’s Moses when you need him?

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Posted: Wednesday, March 3, 2021 2:30 am

Holy Moses, what a season we’re having! It seems that we’re living through events of biblical proportions, some of them straight out of the pages of Exodus.

In case you’re not familiar with the early chapters of Israel’s history, the book of Exodus tells about a time when that ethnic group was brutally oppressed and enslaved in Egypt. God sent a bumbling, self-conscious deliverer named Moses who demanded that Pharaoh set the Israelites free. Time and again, Pharaoh refused, and after each refusal God sent a plague. Ten of them.

There was hail (Exodus 9:22-26) such as North Texas got last Thursday night. Parts of Collin County saw hailstones as large as a quarter. Granted, the storm in Egypt was probably worse than the storm in Prosper, but tell that to someone filing an auto insurance claim today.

There was darkness (Exodus 10:21-23) reminiscent of two weeks ago when the lights went out for millions of Texans. Although in the Exodus telling, “all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings,” which makes us wonder: Has anyone checked if Dallas-area synagogues lost power?

There was polluted water (Exodus 7:19-21). In Exodus, the Nile River and the irrigation systems it fed all turned to blood. Lucky for us, the problem here wasn’t blood but bacteria which was set loose in city water systems when pipes burst and pressure failed.

There were plagues related to livestock (Exodus 9:6). In Egypt, that meant camels, cattle and sheep. In North Texas it means chickens. Sanderson Farms Inc., the nation’s third-largest poultry producer, lost 545,000 baby chicks at Texas hatcheries because of the storm.

And there were plagues related to wild creatures (Exodus 8:6,24). Apparently, the North Texas stand-in for frogs and flies are rats, which seem to be enjoying a resurgence during the pandemic.

There were boils (Exodus 9:8-11). OK, this one’s a stretch, but who among us hasn’t noticed pimples and splotchy skin after outages forced us to go without a shower?

And then, of course, there’s the plague we’ve lived with for the past year. While COVID-19 was not one of the judgments sent to ancient Egypt, the current global pandemic has brought on apocalyptic comparisons from sources as austere as The Journal of Religion and Health.

All this has us a little apprehensive, half expecting to see a news story next week about swarms of locusts or waters parting at the Red River. In fact, we won’t really be comfortable until after Passover. Chag sameach!

Odessa, TX

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