A basic precondition for understanding both the situation in which the Israelites found themselves on the eve of the Exodus, and our situation today, is to remember the following words of the Sages: "Like the first redeemer (Moshe), so will be the last redeemer (Mashiach)" (Midrash Kohelet Rabba 1,28). That is, there are basic similarities between our situation in Egypt and ours today, during the final Geula.
It is difficult to understand the attitude in Moshe's statement to Heaven that it had not yet freed the Jewish people from Egyptian bondage. Moshe certainly realized that Heaven was aware of the promises.
for whom were these plagues/miracles done? Was it to bring Egypt to its knees, punishment for the inhuman way they mistreated us during 117 years of slavery? Was it to show Paro who really is boss? Was it to strengthen & energize Bnei Yisrael, after so many years of our being downtrodden?
The Exodus from Egypt was a complex and difficult operation, requiring two goals: 1) Convincing Bnei Yisrael that it was going to occur and getting them to the level at which they would be worthy of it. 2) Convincing Paroh to set the people free or force him to do so.
The Lord could certainly have accomplished the same result with one plague, especially the last and final plague of the death of the Egyptian firstborn. Why go through the exercise of the first nine plagues?
Parshas Va’eira opens with Moshe Rabbeinu receiving admonition from Hashem for not being appreciative of His Ways. Thus, this is certainly an excellent time to study the brocha of bensching called Hatov Vehameitiv, “He Who is good and does good.”
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).