}

Parshat Hashavua – Parsha of the Week Va’Eira

Here is my 1 minute synopsis:

God reveals himself to Moses as the god that created a covenant with the forefathers. He promises Moses that he shall release Israel from their slavery, redeem them and make them great according to his promise. Moses complains that the Israelites aren’t listening to him and God tells him to chill out. Then we get a very selective list of names to indicate who some of the Israelites might be and specifically, the lineage of Moses’s family. We learn he’s got a big bro called Aaron. Moses tells God that he has some form of speech impediment, and God tells him to use Aaron to speak publicly for him (the scholars from the Documentary Hypothesis school posit that this is one-upmanship from the Priestly authors who want to make Aaron look important, and perhaps even more important than Moses).

So then God promises to harden Pharaoh’s heart so that he might release the Israelites with great judgements against the Egyptians. So with God’s instructions, Moses and Aaron visit Pharaoh and pull a little serpent trick. Pharaoh’s magicians pull the same stunt but God’s serpent eats theirs. Yum.

Then we get into a cycle where Pharaoh’s heart keeps hardening as he refuses to release the Israelites and God keeps punishing the Egyptians with plagues, first with blood replacing the Nile’s waters for seven days and then with a plague of frogs, followed by a plague of lice, followed by yucky wild creatures, then by livestock disease (only affecting Egyptian livestock, not Israelite), then boils, followed by fiery, flaming hail. But Pharaoh’s heart just kept hardening every time. He’s definitely asking for trouble…

Chabad offers the 5 minute Parsha synopsis (not as fun as mine, but nicer looking).

Chabad also offers a full translation of the parsha broken down into aliyot sections, and side by side with English Rashi. Tres cool.

Interesting commentary from Bar Ilan (including the very special The Frog was a Crocodile article).

Shabbat shalom.

2 Comments

  1. Dina

    1/7/2005 at 4:16 pm

    Y’know, I forgot who says this, but one of the more well-known mephorshim says that Moshe had no speech impedement…after all, he did transcribe the Torah and the Torah’s not missing any letters (‘cept for J). He says that Moshe had been out of Egypt for forty years and simply forgot Egyptian!
    I love that explanation.

  2. yoseph crack

    1/10/2005 at 4:04 am

    I like the medish that the frog was like two hundred amos tall, and could breathe fire and shit. Beware that “frog,” motherfucker! God’s very own personal Illa’, getting ill the second you try to pop him.

    And he’s all peace ful and shit, until the stupid ass egyptian poke him with a stick. then he explodes, into like a million of the motherfuckers. and they get baked into bread and whatnot.

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