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Beit Midrash Torah Portion and Tanach Va'era

An Overview of the Torah Portion

Parasha Summary - Va'era

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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.
Rabbi Stewart Weiss
Was ordained at the Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Illinois, and led congregations in Chicago and Dallas prior to making Aliyah in 1992. He directs the Jewish Outreach Center in Ra'anana, helping to facilitate the spiritual absorption of new olim.
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