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Parashat Vaera

Parasha Thoughts

By Rabbi Shlomo Zargari


Paroh, the King of Egypt, was a deep philosophical thinker and an intellectual researcher. His country was plagued with blood, frogs, lice, wild beasts, and pestilence. It was a massive offensive, like clockwork exactly as he was warned. He was also told that nothing would happen to the Children of Yisrael. He sent agents to check the facts and bring the results to the government cabinet for investigation. They pored over the findings, reports and testimonies as it says :

וַיִּשְׁלַ֣ח פַּרְעֹ֔ה וְהִנֵּ֗ה לֹא־מֵ֛ת מִמִּקְנֵ֥ה יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל עַד־אֶחָ֑ד וַיִּכְבַּד֙ לֵ֣ב פַּרְעֹ֔ה וְלֹ֥א שִׁלַּ֖ח אֶת־הָעָֽם׃ (פ)
When Paroh inquired, he found that not a head of the livestock of Yisrael had died; yet Paroh remained stubborn, and he would not let the people go.(Shemot 9,7)

The Iben Ezra explains not even one died.
Not even one died of a different sickness or old age, even ones on their deathbed didn’t die!!! But Paroh, “Remained stubborn, and he would not let the people go.” The Seforno says on this Pasuk that even though it was an impossible wonder and could only be attributable to the Creator Almighty, he still refused.

So what happened? Paroh himself sent for the investigation??? The answer is that we should not be naive… Some just like to question, to attack, to create havoc and disbelief. If they lose, they’ll just ignore and act as if nothing happened…

The Alshech Hakadosh points this out from the pasuk :
כִּי֩ יְדַבֵּ֨ר אֲלֵכֶ֤ם פַּרְעֹה֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר תְּנ֥וּ לָכֶ֖ם מוֹפֵ֑ת וְאָמַרְתָּ֣ אֶֽל־אַהֲרֹ֗ן קַ֧ח אֶֽת־מַטְּךָ֛ וְהַשְׁלֵ֥ךְ לִפְנֵֽי־פַרְעֹ֖ה יְהִ֥י לְתַנִּֽין׃
“When Paroh speaks to you and says, ‘Produce your marvel,’ you shall say to Aharon, ‘Take your rod and cast it down before Paroh.’ It shall turn into a serpent.”(Shemot 7,9) The Alshech says that the word לאמר seems to be extra. He explains that HaShem is telling Moshe and Aharon that Paroh is looking for proof only to disprove it. He just wants to be shown a “marvel “ so he could try to disprove it and attack it. But even if you show him many of these “marvels,” he will just ignore them and look the other way!!!

Sound familiar??