> Weekly Torah Portion > Beginner > Art of Revelation

The Plague of Hail

Bo (Exodus 10:1-13:16 )

by Yoram and Meira Raanan

"Hail," 2015, acrylic on canvas, 90 x 120 cm.

Moses stretched his staff toward the sky, and God caused it to thunder and hail, with lightening and hail striking the ground. The lightning flashed within the hailstones… [yet the hailstones did not melt.] (Exodus 9:23-24)

Moses stands with his arms stretched up toward the sky as hail, the seventh plague, begins to rain down on Egypt. Miraculously, the icy hailstones each contained a flame that burned within it. The painting captures the feeling of both fire and ice. Against a simple background of ochre and burnt sienna, the fiery hailstones light up the somber sky.

As the hail destroyed the trees of Egypt, Pharaoh begged Moses to pray that there be no more hail, and promised to let the Israelites go (Exodus 9:27-28). The midrash says that when Moses prayed for the hail to cease, the hailstones that were on the way down were suspended in midair. Some of them later descended in the days of Joshua, and the remainder are destined to rain down on our enemies in the battle of Gog and Magog. In the painting, they remain suspended.

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