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10

Ibn Ezra said that only the above ground water (such as in the river) turned to blood, but water that was underground before the plague stayed water. "And all of Egypt dug around the river to find water to drink" (7:24) Thus , when the Egyptian magicians needed water to emulate the plague, they dug a new well The medrash Rabbah states that the ...


9

The profit was from the natural water that we sold them. The miracle was that their own water became blood. The miracle drove up the price of water from zero to something. The profit was an indirect result of the miracle.


8

First of all, the whole point of the 'river turning to blood' was that it was supposed to be a miracle, an event showing that superiority of a force over the natural world (i.e. science). So, if anything, your example proves that the Jews DO believe in modern science, as they believe that there's no natural way to turn water into blood without divine ...


7

Abarbanel discusses this and gives two reasons why the parshiyos were split this way (which, incidentally, are the reasons @LarryK and @GershonGold have offered). The plague of arbeh was chosen to begin Parshas Bo with because it begins the makkos for which Pharaoh began to fear the plagues and negotiate with Moshe before the plague started. All the last ...


7

Your question really comes earlier, for in the plague immediately after the pestilence, we find: וַיְהִי, שְׁחִין אֲבַעְבֻּעֹת, פֹּרֵחַ, בָּאָדָם וּבַבְּהֵמָה "and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man and upon beast." which implies that the Egyptians had animals on which boils "broke forth". Abarbanel, in his description of the ...


7

The Shir Maon writes they turned blood into "water" (looked like it) and then turned it back into its original state which is blood.Magic cannot work on water(see Sanhedrin) but blood could.


7

Technically, "modern science" incorporates quantum mechanics, which includes the ideas of particles "blipping" in and out of existence, as well as that of all that science predicts are probabilities not definitive absolutes. So modern science doesn't really contradict the miraculous (which are essentially then statistical anomalies). Furthermore, at a ...


6

R' Moshe Cordovero (Ramak), in his commentary Tefillah Lemoshe on the siddur, lists the following: For each of the Ten Plagues - the respective manifestations of "af," "evrah," "zaam," "tzarah," and "mishlachas mal'achei ra'im" that were evident in each one - totaling fifty (as per R' Akiva). The fifty plagues at the Sea. For some of them he lists ...


6

The Ba'al HaTurim (9:33) says that after the plague of Hail the Jewish nation no longer suffered from the burdens of Egyptian oppression. There would therefore be a clear distinction between the first 7 plagues and the last three, which might be why the plagues are separated there.


6

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch in his Commentary explains that God did not “harden Pharaoh’s heart” so much as “allow Pharaoh’s heart to be hardened”. This was achieved allowing Pharaoh to (incorrectly) perceive limits to God’s power in bringing the plagues. For example, Hirsch translates Exodus 9:30–32 as a single quote, something like (adapting the JPS ...


6

The explanation I always give is as follows: God never takes away a person's free will. If God wants to influence a person's choice, He does just that - influences it. He does not force it. He will manipulate external factors so that the decision will be influenced in a certain direction. Let me give an example: Bill is buying a new car. He has free will ...


6

The דרכי משה ( in אורח חיים ס' תעד ס'ק יח ) brings the custom based on the מהרי'ל and the custom of the מהר'ש. He also states that the מהר'ש based it on the ספר אבי'ה - presumably the ראבי'ה. There are two things being symbolized. The use of the finger symbolizes the 'finger of G-d' and the number of times has a gematria of 16. The דרכי משה explains ...


6

From the Baal Hatanya's Haggadah: ויכוון, שהכוס הוא סוד המלכות, ושופך מהיין שבתוכו סוד האף והזעם שבה על ידי כח הבינה לתוך כלי שבור סוד הקליפה שנקראת ארור One should have in mind that the cup represents sod hamalchut (the secret of sovereignty), and the wine that is being poured into the broken vessel represents the secret of anger and ...


5

The seventh, Hail, marks a turning point. So it is also a good place to divide the parshiot. The plague is a turning point since it is the first one whereby Moses/Gd gives Pharoh three choices: Let B'nei Israel leave Fully suffer the plague Partially suffer the plague: save your fieldworkers and animals by bringing them indoors away from the hail (Ex ...


5

To summarize the Chabad.org link that Hacham Gabriel provided: Shemos Rabba (11:3) brings a disagreement between R' Yehudah and R' Nechemia. R' Yehudah maintains that it was a swarm of different wild animals. R' Nechemia says it was a swarm of insects. The Midrash and most commentators (Rashi, ibn Ezra, Targum Yonatan, et al) hold like R' Yehudah. However ...


5

Because after Arbeh there was no food left in the fields. Barad destroyed what was ripened already and Arbeh took care of the rest. (Rashi in end of Va'eirah)


5

Although I don't have a source, I would say that they didn't have the power to do that. Their point was still accomplished, though, because they proved that they could do the same as Moshe...


5

This Haggadah (citing Yesod Hatorah) says that in fact R' Yehudah, with his acronym, is implicitly disagreeing with the other Sages. A Midrash (cited in Tosafos to Shabbos 87b, ד"ה ואותו) tells how when the Egyptian firstborn heard from the Jews (on Shabbos Hagadol) that they were marked for death, they rioted to try to force Pharaoh to free the Jews so ...


5

Exodus 9:3 (emphasis mine): behold, the hand of the Lord will be upon your livestock that is in the field, upon the horses, upon the donkeys, upon the camels, upon the cattle, and upon the sheep, a very severe pestilence. This limits the scope of the plague to the animals in the field. Hence, any animal brought inside was not afflicted. So when Verse ...


5

Alongside Alex's answer, I would posit that they never had in mind specific identified plagues, and might even look at you strangely for trying to identify them. it strikes me more along the lines of 'kol ha-marbeh lesaper bitzias mitzrayim, harei zeh meshubach'; as well as what immediately follows these deductions in the haggadah, kamma maalos tovos laMakom ...


5

From Me'am Lo'ez: The darkness was not like the darkness of night, but was something palpable. Our sages state that it could be felt, just like a coin. (Tanchuma; Shemot Rabbah. The measure of the "thickness of a coin [dinar]" is that which is considered to have substance; see Chulin 55b. Rashash on Shemot Rabbah writes that the darkness was like ...


5

Rashi (12:32) says that Pharoah asked Moshe to bless him because he was a firstborn and thus was liable to die in the plague.


5

Rivivos Efraim Orach Chaim 2 - 137 attributes this Minhag to the Baal Kneses HaGedola 261 with the following two reasons. One is not to drink wine that the name of the Makos were mentioned on. Also since it is disgusting since he dipped his finger into it. Sefer Mekorei Minhagim - 44 mentions this in the name of the Arizal.


5

Each plague was done with a finger of Hashem, as it says "אצבע אלקים היא" (Shemos 8:15) by כנים, and דבר was the fifth plague, making it 5 fingers, a full hand. (my) Source: Maaseh Nisim Hagada by Rabbeinu Yaakov m'Lisa (aka the Nesivos Hamishpat) quoting "the commentaries" While I was looking back through my Haggadas for the source, I found this as ...


4

The Lubavitcher Rebbe brings down in his Haggadah, quoting the Rambam's Pirush Hamishnayos Avot Chapter 5 Mishnah 4, that while tradition tells us that there were many more plagues by the sea than in Egypt, there were only 10 types of plagues. They were all the same types of plagues which happened in Egypt, and at the Sea they split into numerous parts (how ...


4

Imagine there was a magician claiming to have a super-natural ability to turn water into blood, and you want to discredit him and prove that it's just a trick. You would need to perform the exact illusion that the magician was performing, turn water into blood. Doing the reverse would not discredit the initial "miracle" that the magician performed. ...


4

Rav Hirsch suggests an alternate explanation of the magicians’ behavior according to your suggestion: that they were attempting to undo the effects of the plague with no success—or in the case of the frogs, more frogs came when they attempted to banish them. After their third failure, they acknowledged that it was “God’s Finger” at work.


4

I think it seems clear from the narrative (8:4–9) (but I have no further source) that his prayer for the plague to cease was for it to cease from the Egyptians, and was pursuant to Pharaoh's request. As to why he cried out (rather than merely praying): Ibn Ezra explains (if I understand him correctly) that he really wanted the frogs gone, lest he be shamed ...


4

Most of the commentators understand ערוב as being derived from the word for "mixture", the animals being a "mixture" of a certain type. What type is subject to speculation. Shemos Rabbah (11:3) brings a difference of opinion between R' Nechemia and R' Yehuda as to what type of animals were involved: either insects or what we would think of as wild animals ...


4

I am surprised that no one has mentioned the Rambam's opinion. He addresses this question in Hilchos Teshuva (6:3), and says quite simply that yes, sometimes freewill is withheld from someone. The reason it was not unfair to punish Pharaoh after his heart had been hardened and he'd lost his freewill is because he deserved it. Rambam explains that since he ...



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