Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

13

Seder Hadorot tells us that Moshe Rabbeinu was born in the year 2368. It then tells us that G-d spoke to Moshe at the burning bush on the 15th of Nissan in the year 2447. This would mean that Moshe had just turned 79 a little over a month before, on the 7th of Adar. Moshe then goes to talk to Pharoah when he is 79. (Incidentally, the Seder HaDorot brings ...


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 ...


10

Here is a way to read this Rashi other that advancing corporealism: Usually, when we see Yad, it means to signify strength. So one might understand that Hashem will apply his strength against the Egyptians. However, Rashi here is saying that there is a metaphor here, of someone striking another. And that is an actual hand performing an act of hitting. To ...


9

I don't think this is the simple answer, but it is nonetheless an interesting answer I heard: normally, prayer should be "just loud enough to hear yourself" -- but with all the frogs croaking, Moshe had to scream!


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.


7

אמר רבי אבהו כל המעשה את חבירו לדבר מצוה מעלה עליו הכתיב כאילו עשאה שנאמר ומטך אשר הכית בו את היאר וכי משה הכהו והלא אהרן הכהו אלא לאמר לך כל המעשה את חבירו לדבר מצוה מעלה עליו הכתיב כאילו עשאה סנהדרין צ״ט׃ The Gemara says that whoever encourages his friend to do a Mitzva the Posuk considers it as if he did it since it says "And your stick which you hit ...


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

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

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

Rashi asks this question - and answers it in 2 ways: רש"י: אלה ראשי בית אבותם. מתוך שהוזקק ליחס שבטו של לוי עד משה ואהרן בשביל משה ואהרן, התחיל ליחסם דרך תולדותם (ה) מראובן. (ובפסיקתא גדולה ראיתי, לפי שקנטרם יעקב אבינו לשלשה שבטים הללו בשעת מותו, חזר הכתוב ויחסם כאן לבדם, לומר שחשובים הם): ‏ שפתי חכמים (ה) וא"ת עדיין יש להקשות למה לא התחיל ...


7

Lubavitcher Rabbi Zatzal explains that Rashi says that תנין is a snake since further in Posuk 7:15 it says וְהַמַּטֶּה אֲשֶׁר נֶהְפַּךְ לְנָחָשׁ תִּקַּח בְּיָדֶךָ, obviously it turned into a snake. He leaves open the question as to why the Pasuk refers to it as a תנין if it is a snake. Tiferes Yisrael says that the hidden letters of Nachash are תנין. נ"ן ...


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.


5

At first glance, this appears to be a great question, and it immediately brings to mind the controversy over the rock in the wilderness. But upon further consideration, I'm wondering if this question is based on a faulty interpretation (although perfectly fine translation) of "struck". In English, we say the Egyptians were "struck" with 10 plagues. Same in ...


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

A couple of the classical commentators address this as well. Ibn Ezra writes that Moshe, on his own initiative, had given Pharaoh the option when the plague should be gone (8:5-6) - without first consulting Hashem whether this was the right thing to do, or whether the stated deadline was acceptable to Him. Now he was concerned that Hashem might not approve ...


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

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

Perush Yonason asks this question and does not give an answer. I once heard an answer (do not remember from who) which is difficult to accept. Levi lived 137 years in Egypt. The problems with this answer is numerous, and I think this is a question that has no good answer.


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 ...


5

In Shemos 5:3, Moshe introduces his request: נלכה נא דרך שלשת ימים במידבר ונזבחה ליהוה Now let us go on a three day journey in the desert and sacrifice to the Lord our God


5

According to varius meforshim (such as Rabbi Sorotzkin, Rav Hirsch, etc) all shepherds had their own staffs. Also, a staff was a symbol of authority and every major person had his own. See the statement by Yaakov or Yehudah and Tamar as an example. The magicians also had their own staffs as well which they used when performing magic (as when Moshe and ...


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

I see where Daas Soferim has an interesting take on it. Really, he says, Pharaoh didn't deserve to have the plague taken away at this point. However, Moshe wanted to do him a favor and make it possible for him to recognize Hashem's greatness (by seeing how Hashem removes the plague at his, Moshe's, request). So he had to "cry out" because he was asking for ...


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

Moshe was 79 plus when he came first to pharaoh. His 80th birthday preceded the Exodus. He died about 40 days before Israel enterred the land which was exactly 40 years after the Exodus. When a person is past 79 he is in his 80th year, which is what the Torah refers to.


4

Tol'dos Yotzchak (by Rabbi Yitzchak Karo, uncle of the Bes Yosef), in his commentary to 4:10, says that "כבד לשון" refers to an impediment in pronouncing the so-called tongue letters, דטלנת;‎ "ערל שפתים", the lip letters, בומף; and "כבד פה", the rest. ["לא איש דברים", then, would seem to be an all-embracing expression.]



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible