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“I have sinned this time, Hashem is the righteous one and I and my people are wicked.” (9:27)

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We do not find Pharaoh making any such concession after any of the other plagues. Was makas barad, the plague of hail, so “enlightening” that Pharaoh was inspired to condemn himself and his nation, while simultaneously offering plaudits to Hashem?  Horav Aharon Rotter, Shlita, offers a very pragmatic response. Rashi explains that the physical composition of the hail was unique in that two chemically opposed substances mixed together. Indeed, the hail was viewed as a neis b’soch neis, miracle within a miracle. Fire and hail, which is essentially water, made “peace” with each other to do the will of Hashem. The symbolism of two opposite extremes cooperating in a harmonious relationship, melding together to perform the will of Hashem, evoked within Pharaoh a feeling of respect and admiration for Hashem. This is the uniqueness of the mitzvah of shalom!

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