HaShem told Moshe, “Wake up early in the morning, stand before Paraoh and tell him the following words in My name: ‘Let my people go! If you choose not to, you, your servants and your entire nation will suffer! Once and for all, you will all recognize that there is nobody like Me in the entire land.’”
Moshe scratched a line on a wall inside Paraoh’s palace and announced to the king, “See this line? At the exact moment that sunshine reaches this point tomorrow, HaShem will send an enormous hailstorm. It will be like no storm you’ve ever seen or will ever see again!”
As expected, Paraoh ignored the warning. The next day, Moshe reached his staff toward the sky, and… BOOM! Thunder and lightning came crashing down from heaven. Huge hailstones of ice were mixed with balls of fire, yet, miraculously, the fire did not melt the ice!
People and animals standing outside were killed immediately. The flaming hail smashed trees, wiped out crops, and obliterated every Egyptian garden and orchard! The only Egyptians saved were those who believed in the power of Hashem and who stayed indoors with their animals.
But in the land of Goshen – the home of Bnei Yisrael, it was quiet and peaceful. Not a speck of hail hit their land.
Paraoh ordered Moshe and Aharon to come to his palace. “I can’t take it anymore!” he cried. “Tell HaShem to stop this bizarre hailstorm. I know I have sinned. HaShem is the righteous One, but I and my nation are wicked. I will let your people go, just pray to HaShem to make that hail go away… please!”
Moshe replied, “All right, I will pray to HaShem to stop the hail, but not here, in this city, a place full of idol worship.”
Moshe left the palace and traveled, far, far away from any idols. He lifted his hands toward Heaven, and prayed to HaShem to stop the plague.
The storm came to a sudden end. Even hailstones that were falling from the sky stopped in mid-air, never hitting the ground!