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11

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 ...


11

The Maharal (Chapter 56 of Gevuros Hashem)points out that the plagues follow a pattern, split into units of 3 - the first of each group (plagues 1, 4, and 7) are preceded by a warning to Pharaoh issued by the Nile. The second of each group (2, 5, and 8) are preceded by a warning issued to Pharaoh while sitting on his throne. The third of each group has no ...


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.


9

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 ...


8

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 could on blood.


8

Because the Egyptians were looking for any excuse to say that the plagues were not of divine origin. If they were not of divine origin then the Egyptians wouldn't feel the need to let the Jews go. If they saw any reason, no matter how slight, to say that they were not from G-d, they would jump on that opportunity. Moshe did not want to give them that ...


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

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 ...


7

Due to Egyptian immorality, there were actually a lot of firstborns. All of these were counted: Firstborn of the mother Firstborn of the father Male Female Oldest in the house, even if not a firstborn All Egyptian firstborns, even in other countries Firstborns of other nationalities currently in Egypt Rashi to Ex. 12:30, s.v. כי אין בית אשר אין שם מת and ...


7

Rabbi Hirsch points out several patterns, but recall that God had told Abraham: "Your offspring will be a foreigner in a land not theirs, they will be enslaved, and tormented. The Jews experienced three types of Egyptian behavior: "you don't belong here", "you are less than us", and inflicting pain. Each trio of plagues therefore followed the same pattern ...


7

The Pesukim tell us that the Tzefarde'a went into their homes, bedrooms, bodies and even ovens. וְעָלוּ וּבָאוּ בְּבֵיתֶךָ וּבַחֲדַר מִשְׁכָּבְךָ וְעַל מִטָּתֶךָ וּבְבֵית עֲבָדֶיךָ וּבְעַמֶּךָ וּבְתַנּוּרֶיךָ וּבְמִשְׁאֲרוֹתֶיךָ There was no place in Egypt to hide from them, hence "no Egyptians would have survived". The Arov did not have as much ...


7

The explanation that I once heard for this was that the makkos were intended to teach a lesson to Pharaoh, and a very specific lesson. Pharaoh believed in gods with powers. Seeing something paranormal wasn't the end of the discussion for Pharaoh. What fascinated Pharaoh was absolute power - Pharaoh believed in a pantheon of gods, and one G-d with absolute ...


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

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 ...


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.



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