Torah Commentary

Torah Commentary

Not One Remained

There are many magical moments in this week’s parashah. One was when Aaron cast his rod down in front of Pharaoh and his courtiers and behold! It turned into a serpent (Exodus 7:10).

Divine Violence and Abolition in Egypt

In Parshat Va-eira, we watch as God's message of freedom unfolds across Egypt and is ignored, scorned by Israelites and Egyptians alike. We watch as moral suasion, peaceful resistance, and God's word fail to bring about liberation and an end to oppression. In the wake of this failure, God visits 10 plagues on Pharaoh and the Egyptians, the first 7 of which appear in this week's portion.

What It Takes to Fulfill the Promise

There is a section of Parashat Va-eira that might sound familiar to those who have experienced a Passover seder: It's a list of five promises God makes to the Children of Israel: I will free you..., and deliver you...; I will redeem you...;  I will take you to be My people; and , I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob... (Ex. 6:6-8).