The weekly Torah portion of Va'eira (Exodus 6:2-9:35)

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Why does God have Moshe use a name the Israelites won't know?

When God sends Moshe back to Egypt from Midyan, he instructs Moshe to refer to God as "Hashem." (Shemot 3:15) When Moshe returns from the task, God reveals that the Israelites (or at least their ...
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Why does Rashi say תנין is a snake, not a croc?

Rashi on Shemot 7:10: ‏ "ויהי לתנין" - נחש The pasuk: וַיָּבֹ֨א מֹשֶׁ֤ה וְאַהֲרֹן֙ אֶל־פַּרְעֹ֔ה וַיַּ֣עַשׂוּ כֵ֔ן כַּאֲשֶׁ֖ר צִוָּ֣ה יְהוָ֑ה וַיַּשְׁלֵ֨ךְ אַהֲרֹ֜ן אֶת־מַטֵּ֗הוּ ...
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Why are the descendants of Ruben and Shimon listed in Va-eira?

In Va-eira when it mentions Moshe and Aaron's lineage (Shemot 6:14) it also lists generational details about Ruben and Shimon. Why are Ruben's and Shimon's lineages listed here?
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What happened to Moshe's Mateh (stick)

I once heard that Moshe's stick was used as the middle pole that held the beams together in the Mishkan that miraculously bent twice (Rashi, Shabbos 98b). Does anyone know a source for this?
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Why did Pharaoh not think Moshe and Aaron were magicians?

BSD In this week's Parsha - Shemot Chapter 8 (וָאֵרָא), Pharaoh stands by as Moshe and Aaron perform all of the rites and 'signs' to Pharaoh. After each miracle, the Torah speaks of how Pharaoh's ...
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Did Aharon have his own stick, like Moshe?

In a few places, the Torah seems to imply that Aharon had his own stick. Some examples: Shmot 7:9 "Tell Aharon take your stick..." verse 10 "... Aharon cast his stick..." verse 12 ... "Aharon's ...
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Why are crocodiles more deadly than all wild beasts?

Concerning Tzphardea, Rabbi Hirsch 7 27 writes צפרדע can not mean crocodiles, otherwise there would have been no Egyptians left in the land. It is clear that they were only annoying creatures, not ...
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Why is every 3rd plague (of the 10 brought on Pharoah) unnanounced?

It seems like every plague was warned by Moshe to Paroah except for the 3rd - lice, 6th - boils and 9th - darkness. Why is that? Is there something special about these plagues?
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Three days through/in the wilderness: to where?

In shemot 3:18 Adonai commands Moshe to tell the King of Egypt: 'nelacha-na derech shloshet yamim bamidbar venizbecha laHaShem Eloheinu'-'let us go a journey of three days into the wilderness, to ...
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Why does Rashi offer completely different explanation of אחות נביות and אחות נחשון?

In Bereishit 28:9, Rashi uses the words "אחות נביות" ("the sister of Nevayot") to calculate how old Yishmael, Eisav, and Yaakov were at the time, and a bunch of other dates. However, in Shemot 6:23, ...
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Did Aaron's staff turned into a snake or a crocodile?

In exodus 7 it says on verses 8-12: ח וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה, אֶל-מֹשֶׁה וְאֶל-אַהֲרֹן לֵאמֹר. ט כִּי יְדַבֵּר אֲלֵכֶם פַּרְעֹה לֵאמֹר, תְּנוּ לָכֶם מוֹפֵת; וְאָמַרְתָּ אֶל-אַהֲרֹן, קַח אֶת-מַטְּךָ ...
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Was there lightning during the plague of hail?

Shmot 9:23 uses the word "Kolot", which means "noises" or "voices". I'm assuming, therefore, that this means thunder as this is a "noise". Scientifically, there is no thunder without lightning, ...
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If water can be turned into blood, do Jews believe in modern science?

Exodus 7:20 states that in a few seconds the water in the Nile was turned into blood. Modern science says that this is almost impossible based on how it was described in the torah. No chemicals were ...
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How did Paro know that “…that they may serve Me” meant sacrifices and not some other form of service?

During the confrontation with Paro Moshe repeats God's demand several times: let my people go that they may serve Me -- שַׁלַּח עַמִּי וְיַעַבְדֻנִי . During the plague of frogs Paro makes this offer ...
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After the first plague, where did Paro's magicians get water to turn to blood?

Sh'mot chapter 7 describes the first plague, with the Nile and all other water turning to blood (except the Israelites' water). Paro's magicians then turn water into blood, which convinces Paro that ...
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Difference Ga'al and Natzal

shemot 6:6-7 reads the famous quote for the Pesach cups. But what's the actual difference between deliver (natzal) and redeem (ga'al)? take away from a problem? and remove the problem? Please help ...
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Why does the Haggadah interpret ביד חזקה as referring to דבר?

Why does the Haggadah interpret ביד חזקה (strong hand) as referring to the plague of דבר (pestilence)? Why don’t the other plagues demonstrate a strong hand?
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When did the plague of vermin stop?

The plague of vermin or lice is not said to have stopped in the verses, (Ex 8:12-15). When, if at all, did it stop?
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Did Levi see Moshe and Aaron?

Exodus 6:16 states that Levi lived for 137 years. The Targum Yonatan, (ibid) says: ואלין שמהת בנוי דלוי לייחוסיהון גרשון קהת ומררי ושני חיוי דלוי מאה ותלתין ושבע שנין חייא עד דחמא ית משה וית אהרון ...
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Rashi and Corporealsim

Shemos 7:4- וְלֹא-יִשְׁמַע אֲלֵכֶם פַּרְעֹה, וְנָתַתִּי אֶת-יָדִי בְּמִצְרָיִם; וְהוֹצֵאתִי אֶת-צִבְאֹתַי אֶת-עַמִּי בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל, מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם, בִּשְׁפָטִים, גְּדֹלִים There, Rashi ...
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Why does God need Moshe to deliver the 10 plagues?

Why does Hashem command Moshe to perform each macah (plague)? Hashem can perform the Macot himself (by sending malachim).
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Why is every commandment and action in regards to the 10 plagues repeated?

When we read about the 10 plagues everything is repeated twice: once when Hashem commands Moshe and a second time when Moshe executes the plague. The Torah could simply write "and he did so" after ...
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Why does the posuk tell us how old Moshe was when he spoke to Pharoh?

In Posuk 5 of Perek 7 in Parshas Va'eira, it says that Moshe was 80 years old and Aaron was 83 when they spoke to Pharoh. Why is that important?
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Ibn Ezra's Arabic-based explanation of the vav heading some clauses

Sh'mos 9:21: וַאֲשֶׁר לֹא שָׂם לִבּוֹ אֶל דְּבַר יהוה וַיַּעֲזֹב אֶת עֲבָדָיו וְאֶת מִקְנֵהוּ בַּשָּׂדֶה And 13:17: וַיְהִי בְּשַׁלַּח פַּרְעֹה אֶת הָעָם וְלֹא נָחָם אֱלֹהִים דֶּרֶךְ אֶרֶץ ...
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Did Hashem command Aharon to strike the water to bring the plague of Blood?

Shemot 7:19 states: The Lord said to Moses, "Say to Aaron, 'Take your staff and stretch forth your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, over their canals, over their ponds, and over ...
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Torah portions that end abruptly?

In parshat Va-era the 2nd portion - Sheini ends rather abruptly (in the middle of a sentence) Shemot 6:28: Now it came to pass on the day that the Lord spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, ...
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Why does Moshe tell Hashem that he is 'heavy of mouth and heavy of tongue' - twice?

Shemot 4:10-15 is a dialogue between Hashem and Moshe where Moshe tells Hashem that he is 'heavy of mouth and heavy of tongue'. In pssukim 14-15 Hashem tells Moshe that he will tell Aharon what to ...
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Why only beginning with the fourth plague is the exemption of the Jews mentioned?

In Moshe's warning to Pharaoh (in Hashem's name) of the fourth plague, arov, he adds (Ex. 8:18-19): וְהִפְלֵיתִי בַיּוֹם הַהוּא אֶת-אֶרֶץ גֹּשֶׁן אֲשֶׁר עַמִּי עֹמֵד עָלֶיהָ לְבִלְתִּי הֱיוֹת-שָׁם ...
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What was the Arov?

The fourth plague is Arov commonly translated as wild beasts. The word I think most literally translates to "a collection" or in this case, maybe along the lines of "a swarm" (consider the word ...
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Moshe's speech impediment(s)

In Sh'mos 4:10, after Hashem instructs him to speak to the Jews, Moshe describes himself to Hashem as not an "אִישׁ דְּבָרִים", literally "man of words", and as "כְבַד פֶּה", literally "heavy of ...
7
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Splitting the Makot

The splitting of the Parshiot usually make, at least, some sense. However, in the next two Parshiot the plagues are split up (7 in the first, 3 in the second). Are there sources on why this may be? ...
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Moshe's age and the timeline of the exodus

Moshe was 80 when he approached Par'o before the makos, and the makos lasted a year, so he turned 81 in the Adar before the Jews left Mitzrayim. As he turned 120 in the Adar before the Jews entered ...
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Who hit the Nile with his stick?

שמות יז ה has: ומטך אשר הכית בו את היאור Moshe did not hit the Nile river, Aharon did. (See שמות ז יט, with Rashi.) Why does the Torah say otherwise?
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Why did the Mitzryim turn water into blood rather than vice versa?

Why didn't the Mitzryim magic makers just take away the blood from the first makkah to prove to Moshe that he was just doing magic and Hashem had nothing to do with it: why did they add blood (Exodus ...
4
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1answer
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The Frogs Plague [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Moshe cried out” - really? For this plague, the posuk says Moshe left and "cried out" (tzoak) to God that the plague should stop. Why did this plague affect ...
4
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“Moshe cried out” - really?

In Parashat Va-eira, Pharaoh, plagued with frogs, asks Moshe and Aharon to "entreat" God to remove the plague and says that he'll respond by releasing the Israelites. Moshe agrees, and then we have ...