We left off last week with Hashem in the middle of reassuring Moshe that He will assist him in leading the people, and that they will yet be able to leave the Land of Egypt. V’hotzeisi v’hitzalti v’ga’alti v’lakachti, I will take you out, I will rescue you, I will redeem you and I will take you – these are the promises that Hashem makes regarding the redemption of the Jewish people. [Anyone else have Pesach Haggadah songs going through their head?]

Moshe tells Hashem yet again that he does not feel himself fit for the job of talking to the king. Hashem appoints heads of families to assist Moshe in speaking to Paroh and leading the people. Again, Moshe tells Hashem that he doesn’t think he’s the right man to do this mission.

Hashem tells Moshe that Aharon his brother will go with him and Hashem will be with him, and sends Moshe and Aharon to speak with Paroh. They show Paroh a sign from Hashem: Aharon throws his staff to the ground and it turns to a snake. Paroh’s men do the same. Aharon’s snake reverts to a staff and swallows all the other staffs! Paroh’s heart is hardened, and with this we begin the Ten Plagues!

Parashas Va'eira

Plague #1: Blood everywhere in Egypt! Water for the Jews, blood for the Egyptians, and a foul odor permeates the land.

Plague #2: Frogs everywhere in Egypt! Everywhere an Egyptian turns, he’s hindered by loud, croaking frogs. Hitting a frog splits it into two frogs! (Yuck!)

Plague #3: Lice on all the Egyptians’ bodies as well as those of their animals. The Egyptian sorcerers proclaim “It is the finger of G-d!” but Paroh’s heart is hardened.

Plague #4: Wild beasts swarming throughout the land of Egypt… (Yikes!) The animals ruin the land and terrify the people.

Paroh agrees to let the Jews go out to the serve G-d in the wilderness under limited conditions. Moshe agrees and promises that the animals will leave. They do and Paroh’s heart is hardened yet again. He doesn’t let the Jews free.

Plague #5: Sickness for all of Egypt’s animals, killing all of their livestock and leaving all of the Jews’ animals alive.

Paroh is unaffected.

Plague #6: Boils blister onto the skin of every man and beast of Egypt.

Paroh still doesn’t care.

Plague #7: Hail of fire and ice comes down, destroying any animals, crops, and produce outside in the Land of Egypt. The Jews, once again, are left untouched.

Paroh proclaims, “This time I have sinned! My nation and I are the wicked ones!” He says he will let the Jews go finally. Moshe goes out to pray for the hail to stop. It does, and Paroh’s heart is hardened once again.

Quite the intense series of events in the Land of Egypt!

Did you ever wonder what you can learn from a frog? Well, these frogs weren’t your average variety – they were the kind that multiplied every time they were hit (as in, the miraculous kind)!

Strangely enough, the Egyptians continued hitting the frogs even after they realized that the frogs were multiplying! If they’d only stopped hitting them, they wouldn’t have been able to take over the land!

Sometimes we intelligent girls acts like those Egyptians! If somebody bothers you, do you lash out at them immediately after, or do you stop and let yourself process what happened first? Maybe it wasn’t so bad… maybe they didn’t mean it…

Let’s try to stop and think before responding to a situation, instead of hitting the frog – after all, that’s not going to do much to help us anyway!

I’m not listening to anything right now, but I do have the song “R’ Shmuel Brazil Shabbos Medley” by Yitzchak Rosenthal and Lev Tahor on Raza D’Shabbos paused in iTunes right now! The reason it’s paused is ’cause I’m on the phone with my Chesed mommy from seminary, Mrs. Libber, who actually helped me write this post!

Have a great Shabbos!