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15

In my research over this Pesach, I have found some reasons why G-d chose the Ten Plagues specifically. Many of the answers come from the same source. The answer is middah k'neged middah (roughly translated as "karma"). Each of the plagues was punishment for something the Egyptians did to the Israelites. Blood The Egyptians closed all the mikva'ot and ...


14

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 See Ibn Ezra on Vaeira 7:22 ויש שואלים: ...


14

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 ...


13

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 ...


10

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 ...


10

Tanchuma Parshas Bo 4 explains the sequence (from Sefaria.org) by comparing the plagues to a siege upon an enemy City: נטה (את) ידך על השמים (שמות י כא). בטכסיס [מלך] בשר ודם הביא הקדוש ב"ה עליהם את המכות, מלך בשר ודם כיון שהמדינה מורדת עליו, מה עושה משלח לגיונות, והן מקיפין עליה, בתחילה הוא (שובר) [סוכר] אמת המים שלהם, אם חוזרין מוטב, ואם לאו הוא מביא ...


8

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 ...


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

R. Yosef Bekhor Shor (Tosafist) uses this as a proof that the water only turned into blood for long enough to kill the fish, then the fish polluted the water rendering it undrinkable. He is in turn quoted by Hizkuni, Moshav Z'keinim, Riva al Hatorah, and others. This is the wording of Hizkuni (Exod. 7:20): לא נעשה היאור דם כי אם לפי שעה ומיד מתה הדגה ...


8

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 Da'as Zkeinim (and the Chizkuni) at the beginning of Parshas Noach addresses this issue in a different context - The posuk says תמים by Noach, and the Midrash says (Bereishis Rabba 30:8) that anyone described as such lived to an age the which is the multiple of 7 (full שבוע). Noach's 950 do not add (or divide) up. He answers that he lived this amount ...


7

Maayan Bais Has'shoeivah by Rabbi Shimon Schwab Zatzal explains that Moshe and Aharon were telling Pharaoh that his genocidal decrees against the Jewish people were doomed for failure. Eighty years ago you decreed that every boy born shall be thrown into the Nile River to be drowned. Eighty three years ago you ordered that all Jewish boys shall be killed at ...


7

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 well: ...


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 access: ...


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 ...


7

According to the Sforno on 8:7, the pasuk says that they will be removed from the houses but not from the whole country; on the contrary, they will die in the land and cause a stench, but in the future they will not leave their habitat in or near the river. The Malbim indicates that the pasuk indicates the order of the removal (which, I guess, means that ...


6

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.


6

The Haggadah explicitly learns that the Hand of G-d refers to Pestilence from Shemot 9:3, where it talks about Pestilence coming from the Hand of G-d. Of interest is Shemot Rabbah 10:1, which quotes R' Yehoshua ben Levi's teaching that each of the 10 plagues came with a side-plague of Pestilence.


6

Rashi to Exodus (2:5): על יד היאור. אצל היאור, כמו ראו חלקת יואב אל ידי (שמואל-ב יד, ל.), והוא לשון יד ממש, שיד האדם סמוכה לו. ורבותינו דרשו, (סוטה יב:) הולכות לשון מיתה, כמו הנה אנכי הולך למות, (בראשית כה, לב.) הולכות למות לפי (צ) שמיחו בה, והכתוב מסייען, כי למה לנו לכתוב ונערותיה הולכות I'm not clear on his exact intent, but it is evident that "yad ...


6

Richard Steiner (quoted by Natan Slifkin) cites Rashi in Shemot 14:31: את היד הגדלה: את הגבורה הגדולה שעשתה ידו של הקב"ה. והרבה לשונות נופלין על לשון יד, וכולן לשון יד ממש הן, והמפרש יתקן הלשון אחר ענין הדבור The great hand--the great mighty deed which God's hand has performed. Many meanings fit the word יד, but they are all the same as the ...


6

According to various 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 ...


6

Rav Hirsch says that it starts with Reuven and Shimon to show that Moshe was definitively not of "godly" origin as the mythologies of the goyim will have their heroes. However he and Aharon were in the middle of a fully normal family. They were in the middle of the tribes with fathers, mothers, bothers sisters, uncles, cousins That is why the register of ...


6

In addition to the considerations given by ezra realted to the treatment of the Hebrews by the Egyptians, each Plague was associated with one or more Egyptian deities. The Egyptians worshipped that deity, so the emblem of that deity caused them harm. See http://www.biblecharts.org/oldtestament/thetenplagues.pdf From that page, here are the deities being ...


6

Riva on Torah, Shemos 8:26: ויעתר אל ה'. כאן במכת ערוב ובמכת ארבה נאמ' ויעתר שהוא לשון רבוי תפלה כמו שפרש"י בפרשת תולדות מה שאין כן בשאר המכות כגון מכת ברד וצפרדעים שנא' בברד ויפרש כפיו אל ה' וצפרדעים ויצעק משה והטעם לפי שאמרו רבותינו גמירי מיהב יהיב משקל לא שקיל ומשה היה חפץ שלא ישאר אחד מהם כדי שלא יהנו המצרים לא בעור ולא בבשר. ועל כן הוצרך משה ...


6

The verse in Bereishis 49:10 which uses a verb that shares the same root is perhaps a good starting point. It writes there: לֹֽא־יָס֥וּר שֵׁ֙בֶט֙ מִֽיהוּדָ֔ה וּמְחֹקֵ֖ק מִבֵּ֣ין רַגְלָ֑יו עַ֚ד כִּֽי־יָבֹ֣א שילה [שִׁיל֔וֹ] וְל֖וֹ יִקְּהַ֥ת עַמִּֽים׃ The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet; So that tribute shall ...


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

Rashi in Bereishis 1:26 mentions the Pasuk in Melachim that refers to right and left of Hashem. Rashi continues, Is there a right and left of Hashem? Only it means those saying merits, which is referred to as 'right', and those condemning, referred to as 'left'. This clearly shows Rashi not accepting corporeality. As for the Rashi in question, it is more ...


5

וַיְהִי בָרָד וְאֵשׁ מִתְלַקַּחַת בְּתוֹךְ הַבָּרָד The word בתוך can either mean "inside of", or "among". An example of the former is Genesis (9:21): "And he uncovered himself inside his tent" וַיִּתְגַּל בְּתוֹךְ אָהֳלֹה An example of the latter usage is Genesis (23:10): And Efron sat "inside" (i.e. among) the sons of Ches. וְעֶפְרוֹן יֹשֵׁב ...


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