This is the week of liberation. By the time that you get finished reading the Parshah, you have vicariously lived through the last moments of being enslaved in Egypt, and the first moments of liberation.
What were they like?
The Egyptian economy is on its last legs. Whatever remains is going to be consumed by the locusts. Pharaoh seems to be on the verge of teshuvah, and then retreats into his usual unwillingness to recognize that he isn't the one with ultimate control. The details are fascinating. The fact that it was only total economic ruin that made Pharaoh say, "I and my people sin" tells you about the depths of their materialism. The loss of human life that took place during the plague of wild beasts didn't touch him as deeply. The fact that he reneged is also important. The worst thing that can happen to a person is to loose their ability to make choices. This happens when one limiting choice after another is made. An opaque wall is erected. The name of that wall is "desensitization". Sometimes Hashem re-opens your heart by forcing you to look at life from another angle. While this may not feel good, it is good as it gives you a peek at what may be on the other side of the curtain. Sometimes He doesn't, and the curtain remains closed. When you look at the text carefully, you can see how close Pharaoh came to change, and how quickly he reverted to what I call ‘Pharaoh-think’. What changed/closed his mind?
It may have been his total lack of understanding of what the Great Plan was. He was, at that time willing to contend with a religion that only involved adult men. So far as he is concerned, women and children are totally removed from spiritual life.
In Judaism spiritual life begins for a child when his parents marry. Their commitment to each other, and their observance of the mikveh which brings sanctity to their marriage is the backdrop for his life, both from a rationalist environment oriented view and a Kabbalistic perspective. The early mitzvos, tznius for a girl at least on a rudimentary level at three, and tiztzit and a kippah for a boy gives them a definition of self that isn't easily erased. Pharaoh saw religion as distant from real life as it possibly could be. So did some of the Jews.
The next plague, darkness, had two phases. One was visual darkness, and the other one was thick impenetrable darkness. When you feel that you are stuck and you can't move on, you can't be liberated either. The Jews who didn't want the fulfillment of G-d's promise to bring us to Eretz Yisrael, because they couldn't believe that they were worthy of it, and because of that didn't want to leave familiar, "safe" (or at least predictable) Egypt, were stuck in the literal and in the metaphoric sense.
All you have do is open your eyes. You are here because G-d cares enough for you to give you the Gift
It's called choosing and it’s the key to every form of liberation.
All the bet,