Beit Midrash

  • Torah Portion and Tanach
  • Va'era
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An Overview of the Torah Portion

Parasha Summary - Va'era


Rabbi Stewart Weiss

Hashem tells Moshe to inform the Jewish People that He is going to take them out of Egypt, but the Jewish People are skeptical. Hashem commands Moshe to go to Pharaoh and ask him to free the Jewish People.

Although Aharon shows Pharaoh a sign by turning a staff into a snake, Pharaoh's magicians are able to copy the sign, emboldening Pharaoh to refuse the request.

Hashem punishes the Egyptians and sends plagues of blood and frogs upon Egypt, but the magicians copy these miracles on a smaller scale, once again encouraging Pharaoh's obstinance. After the plague of lice, Pharaoh's magicians concede that only G-d could be performing these miracles.

Only the Egyptians, and not the Jews in Goshen, suffer during the plagues. The onslaught continues with wild animals, pestilence, boils and fiery hail which decimated Egyptian society and commerce. However, despite Moshe's offers to end the plagues if Paro will let the Jewish People leave, Pharaoh continues to harden his heart and refuses to let them go.
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