In the Portion we read this week we come across seven of the ten plagues that were brought by Hashem upon the Egyptians. Nine of the ten plagues did not succeed in convincing Pharaoh to free the Bnei Yisrael. It was only the last one that had the desired effect. The question raised is, why the other nine plagues were necessary.
In fact, however, Hashem Himself gives the answer to this question. Hashem tells Moshe that He will bring these plagues and Pharaoh will not pay attention to them. Hashem says, “…I shall multiply My signs and My wonders…” VELO YISHMA ALECHEM PAROH, “And Pharaoh will not heed you…”. VEYADU MITZRAYIM KI ANI HASHEM, “And Egypt will know that I am Hashem…”. (Ex.7, 3-5)
In next week’s Portion Hashem tells Moshe He is bringing these plagues: ULEMA’AN TESAPPER BE’OZNEY VINCHA UVEN BINCHA, “And so that you will relate in the ears of your son and your son’s son…”. (Ex. 10,2) Hence we see two reasons for all the plagues; to show the Egyptians the might of Hashem, but also to convince the Israelites and future generations.
We Jews know our history but we have to be convinced that Hashem is the One who actually made us a nation and sees that we survive. So that we never forget, we have many Mitzvot in which we are reminded ZECHER LEYETZIAT MITZRAYIM. Most of our holidays are also observed as a reminder of this great historical event in our history.