Thursday, December 26, 2013

Parshat Vaera- What's The Connection?


Shabbat Starts:4:17pm
Shabbat Ends: 5:20pm

Parsha In A Nutshell:

 אני יה-ה

I am the Lord.
G-d speaks to Moses and tells him that He has heard the cries of the Israelites who have been oppressed by the Egyptians and that He remembers the covenant between him and our forefathers. G-d tells Moses that Moses should go to the Israelites and tell them that G-d will redeem them from Egypt and take them to the Promised Land. The Israelites do not listen to Moshe because of their broken spirit and hard labor. Moses refuses to go to speak with Pharaoh and G-d assigns his brother Aaron to be Moses spokesman. But Hashem hardens Pharaohs heart and he refuses to let the Israelites go.
G‑d reveals Himself to Moses. Employing the “four expressions of redemption,” He promises to take out the Children of Israel from Egypt, deliver them from their enslavement, redeem them, and acquire them as His own chosen people at Mount Sinai; He will then bring them to the land He promised to the Patriarchs as their eternal heritage.
G-d subsequently commences the series of ten plagues that He will bring upon Egypt. In this Parsha, we hear about seven of these plagues: Blood, Frogs, Lice, Wild Beasts, Death of Livestock, Boils, and Hail. Despite these punishments, Hashem continues to harden Pharaohs heart and does not let the Israelite people go.
Moses and Aaron repeatedly come before Pharaoh to demand in the name of G‑d, “Let My people go, so that they may serve Me in the wilderness.” Pharaoh repeatedly refuses. Aaron’s staff turns into a snake and swallows the magic sticks of the Egyptian sorcerers. G‑d then sends a series of plagues upon the Egyptians. The waters of the Nile turn to blood; swarms of frogs overrun the land; lice infest all men and beasts. Hordes of wild animals invade the cities; a pestilence kills the domestic animals; painful boils afflict the Egyptians. For the seventh plague, fire and ice combine to descend from the skies as a devastating hail. Still, “the heart of Pharaoh was hardened and he would not let the children of Israel go, as G‑d had said to Moses.”
Lessons To Learn:

We learn many intrinsic lessons from this parsha however; the one lesson that stood out the most in this parsha was middah keneged midda- measure for measure. Middah Keneged Middah works in a very straight forward way, the way I treat you is the way I will be treated in return. For example, Pharoh would kill the Jewish babies and bathe in their blood so the first plague that G-d did was Dam-Blood, the Nile river turned into blood and all the water was bloody besides the water of the Israelites. We need to understand that we must be very careful with how we treat others we need to love everyone like we love ourselves. We must always remember that even though we are living in darkness we must never forget that Hashem is crying with us and is waiting for the right moment to redeem us however; we need to show Him that we want to be redeemed. In Egypt, the Israelites didnt want to leave they were comfortable. They were being taken care of even though they were enslaved by the Egyptians. So, they thought in Egypt they receive what they need if they go to the desert they wont have anything so they didn't want to leave. We too, are living such comfortable lives that we don't really care to think about the day where we will be redeemed and the Beit Hamikdash will be rebuilt. We could honestly care less. We need to try to at least remember once a day that we are in exile even though we might be living luxurious lives in reality the Shchina of G-d is not at peace and if G-d isn't at peace so shouldn't we feel that nothing is wrong. Middah Keneged Middah: try to focus and understand why certain things are happening around the world how does it apply to your life?

Shabbat Shalom!
By: Esther Shamayev

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