Torah Tidbits

30 August 2014 / 4 Elul 5774
Issue 986
Issue 986 - Shabbat Parshat Va’eira (m’vorchim)
January 19, 2012

Parsha Points to Ponder

Parsha Points to Ponder

1) What did G-D reveal to Moshe when he told him I AM HASHEM (6:2)? He had revealed Himself to Moshe numerous times already so what was He teaching Moshe with these words?
2) Why does it say that PA’RO SAW THERE WAS A BREAK IN THE PLAGUE leading to the hardening of his heart regarding the plague of frogs (8:11), a language which is not used for any other plague?
3) Why did Pa’ro say the words G-D IS THE RIGHTEOUS ONE specifically after the plague of hail (9:27) and no other plague?

Rabbi Lipman is an educator, author, and community activist in Bet Shemesh and also serves as Director of Anglos for Am Shalem. [FACEBOOK: “Anglos for Am Shalem”]

Ponder the questions first, then see further

Suggested answers

1) The Ohr HaChayim answers that Moshe had just challenged G-D, questioning all the bad things which had happened since he followed G-D’s command and approached Par’o about letting the Jews go. This was inappropriate for Moshe to have done and stemmed from the fact that G-D had always appeared to Moshe as a G-D of Mercy which the name HASHEM captures. Now, G-D reveals Himself as Elokim, a G-D of strict justice and the word VAYIDABER which connotes a harsher tone. G-D informs Moshe that the same G-D is both HASHEM and ELOKIM and Moshe must act with the respect demanded of a G-D of justice.
2) The Kli Yakar explains that when every other plague ended, there was no remnant of the plague, so it was obvious that Pa’ro would simply continue to be stubborn. However, after the plague of frogs concluded, the dead frogs remained everywhere and, as the Torah relates (8:10), created a very bad smell. One would have thought that this would have reminded Par’o of the consequences of his refusal to let the Jews go. Therefore, the Torah emphasizes that Pa’ro SAW THERE WAS A BREAK and managed to ignore the bad smell and continued to refuse to let the Jews go.
3) The Da’at Zekainim MiBaalei HaTos’fot teach that before the plague of hail G-D warned the Egyptians to shelter their animals to prevent them from being hurt. Pa’ro saw this and, for a moment, acknowledged the righteousness of this G-D.

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