In the story of the ten plagues, Pharaoh goes through a life-changing ordeal.
He suddenly experiences thunder and lightning, the likes of which he has never experienced in his life.
Strange things are falling from the heavens, and he is seized with terror.
He begins to think, for the first time in his life, that perhaps he is not a god.
At that moment, an abyss opens wide before him, and he asks himself: What have I done with my whole life?
Only when basic conceptions like these are shattered, and everything suddenly seems different, does it becomes possible to start again from the beginning.
–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz