When we read our parasha carefully, we can notice an important linguistic change. Whereas throughout this section of the Torah, Hashem’s word is introduced with the word “vayomer,” in the beginning of this parasha the word “vayedaber” is mentioned eleven times for His speech. Our parasha also describes three plagues with which Hashem afflicted Egypt, the middle one being dever, which shares the same Hebrew root as vayedaber and is also sometimes written as “davar.” The common denominator between the three plagues in the parasha is that none of them included use of Moshe’s staff.
Most people find it fascinating to discover that the great tzadikim, Chananyah, Mishael and Azaryah, learned from the frogs in this week’s Parsha that there is a mitzvah to die al kiddush Hashem. Stay tuned to find out…
The phenomenon of “shaming” on social media has proven to be very dangerous. The dangers are many times worse when it involves children and adolescents. We will take a look at the matter through the lens of the parasha and even suggest a partial solution. One of the great miracles that led up to the freeing of our forefathers from Egypt was that of the frogs. “The Nile will be full of frogs, and they we will come out and enter your houses, your bedrooms, and your beds, and in the houses of your servants and in your nation, and in your ovens and your food” (Shemot 7:28). Chazal pick up on the proximity of mention of the oven and the food and point out that the food is near the oven when the two are hot, which shows us that the frogs entered the oven when they were being used for cooking, showing that the frogs risked their lives in order to sanctify Hashem’s Name. They derived that specifically the frogs that entered the hot ovens survived and were able to return to the Nile, while the rest of the frogs died and smelled up the Land of Egypt (Midrash Shochar Tov 28).
Our parasha describes, on one hand, the troubles Moshe encountered on the way to the liberation of Bnei Yisrael and, on the other hand, the great miracles that accompanied that process. The prophet Micha coined the phrase about the hope for such recurring miracles, when he said: “Like the days that you left the Land of Egypt I will show you miracles” (Micha 7:15). We will concentrate now on parallel words of two other prophets. One received prophecy about a possible liberation that could have followed the prototype of the Exodus, but it was made conditional on the mending of the nation’s ways. The second prophet informed the people that the liberation was canceled because the nation did not succeed in repenting as necessary.
“[Hashem] commanded [Moshe and Aharon] to Bnei Yisrael and to Paroh, King of Egypt” (Shemot 6:13). Rashi provides two explanations of what was supposed to be done in relation to Paroh. The second had to do with the various actions Hashem had spelled out. The first one is actually to treat Paroh with respect.