Moses tells Pharaoh the word of G-d. “Let My People Go.” He refuses for 9 plagues. After the 10th plague – Pharaoh comes running to Moses telling him & the people of Israel to leave Egypt.
“Moses was great in the eyes of the Egyptian Slaves and the [Jewish] People” (Shemot / Exodus 11:3) says the verse in parashat / weekly Torah reading of Bo. The question is why do the Egyptian Slaves recognize Moses greatness first and after the Jewish people. We would expect the opposite order.
The Answer – to impress others is easy.The Egyptians are easily impressed by the plagues. I buy a nice car. I get a beautiful house. I initiate wonders – like the 10 plagues. But deep down – we all realize that the greatness of a person is in their human qualities – in their kindness. In their doing of good deeds. In their nobility.
When Babe Ruth passed away, a Rabbi asked one of his students to listen to what was said in remembrance of him. Many of the people stated his acts of kindness – in supporting orphanages and helping the poor. His baseball record was secondary to his baseball accomplishments.
When we do good we feel good. Playing sports will keep your body in shape – but doing good will keep your soul in shape. When our soul is happy – we are happy.
The question now is what is kindness? Read Pirkei Avot.