One of the plagues mentioned in this week’s Parsha is that of darkness. In describing this plague the Torah says: “…there was a thick darkness throughout the land of Egypt for three days. No man could see his brother nor could anyone rise from his place…”. There is no greater darkness in the world than when a person does not see his brother and his needs.
Everyone is obligated to help his fellow man. One should not be concerned only with his own needs. We live in a society so that we can help each other. No person can provide all his needs by himself. For example, can one person alone grow all the food he eats, provide all his clothing, build his own house and meet all his other requirements for survival? Certainly not!
This is what the Pasuk implies. The darkness that covered Egypt was because they were not concerned with others, especially the needs of Bnei Yisrael. This is the meaning of “…nor could anyone rise from his place…”. Everyone sat comfortably in his place, worrying only about his own needs and never rising up to lend a hand to his fellow man. This is, indeed, a plague of darkness that engulfs a people.
All of us, young and old, must think of the needs of our friends and do whatever we can to be of help.