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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 8, v. 7: "Rak ba'y'or tisho'arnoh" - Only in the river shall they remain - Abarbanel and others explain that by leaving some "tzfardim" in the river Paroh would have a constant reminder of this devastating plague and it would hopefully keep him in line. Based on the opinion that only one frog ascended from the river, and upon being clubbed thousands upon thousands of frogs miraculously sprung forth from its mouth, how much more powerful is the ongoing presence of "tzfardim." One could likely come out of the river and be hit by an Egyptian, and history might repeat itself. In spite of all this, Paroh remained resolute. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 8, v. 8: "Va'yitzak Moshe el Hashem al dvar hatzfardim asher som l'Faroh" - And Moshe cried to Hashem regarding the frogs that He placed for Paroh - Why specifically here, when praying for the removal of frogs, did Moshe find it necessary to cry? Note that our verse says that Moshe prayed for the removal of frogs that HE placed for Paroh, but not for the total removal of this creature from the land, as Moshe clearly stated in the previous verse, "rak ba'y'or tisho'arnoh." Thus Moshe was praying not for the total removal of the plague, but only partial removal. The gemara Sanhedrin 64a says that heaven does not do things in half-measures. This partial removal required extreme prayer, hence Moshe cried out in prayer. (Sforno) This is understood according to the Abarbanel who says that the "tzfardei'a" in Egypt was introduced totally by this plague, but according to the Bchor Shor those that remained in the waters were ones that were originally there, then Moshe requested a total removal of the plague.

Ch. 8, v. 17: "Hin'ni mashliach b'cho uvaavo'decho uv'amcho uv'vo'techo" - Behold I am sending upon you and upon your servants and upon your nation and upon your homes - Even if Paroh were to believe that a mixture of all creatures would descend upon his country he might be somewhat complacent, thinking that they will surely busy themselves with attacking and eating each other, Hashem tells Moshe to advise Paroh otherwise. "I am sending 'orove' ONLY upon you, your slaves, your nation, and your homes." They have designated jobs. They will miraculously not attack each other. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 8, v. 17: "He'orove" - Rashbam translates this as a type of wolf that becomes a predator at night.

Ch. 8, v. 19: "V'samti f'dus bein ami uvein a'mecho l'mochor yi'h'yeh ho'ose ha'zeh" - And I will place redemption between my nation and between your nation tomorrow this sign will take place - As we know, the redemption from Egypt was not a complete one since the bnei Yisroel would again be exiled. This is why the word "f'dus" is spelled lacking the letter Vov. However, there will eventually be a permanent redemption, as mentioned in T'hilim 130:7, "v'harbei imo f'dus," spelled with a Vov. Rashi on Shmos 13:14 says that "mochor" can sometimes mean at a later time, rather than literally "tomorrow." We can thus say that "mochor yi'h'yeh ho'ose ha'zeh" means that at a later time there will be this letter, "ose," Vov, when the final redemption will come bb"a. (Yo'geil Yaakov)

Ch. 8, v. 20: "Va'yaas Hashem kein" - And Hashem did so - Don't attribute the influx of many wild animals to nature, as sometimes animals wander out of their habitat to forage for food and the like. We see that the animals came directly to Paroh's palace, then to his servants, and finally to the general populace, contrary to nature. We find the same order when they left. These are clear signs that "va'yaas Hashem kein." (Nachal K'dumim)

Ch. 8, v. 20: "Tishocheis ho'oretz mipnei ho'orove" - The earth WAS destroyed by the mixture of animals - Literally, "tishocheis" means "it WILL be destroyed," as there is no "Vov hamha'peich" here. Nevertheless, Rashi says that it means past tense, although he gives no explanation for this. Perhaps the Torah is telling us that the destruction remained for so long that it effected them negatively far into the future, long after the plague was removed. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 8, v. 22: "V'lo yis'k'lunu" - Will they then not stone us - Chatzi Menasheh asks, "When we have a question, such as here, "Will they not stone us," we always find a "Hei hasheiloh," usually vowelized with a "chataf patach." He answers that the earlier word "hein" of our verse serves as this "Hei hasheiloh," and it is as if the Nun of "hein" is swallowed with the connection to the next word "nizbach."

We can translate "v'lo yis'k'lunu" not as a phrase that questions, but rather as a statement of fact. Moshe told Paroh, "We know that Hashem will let no harm befall us, but in spite of this it is improper to slaughter your deity in front of your nation's eyes even though "v'lo yis'k'lunu," we are sure that they will not stone us. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 8, v. 24: "Hatiru baadi" - Implore for me - There was an emperor who ruled over the bnei Yisroel of his land with an iron hand, causing them severe difficulties. The bnei Yisroel continuously prayed to Hashem for his immediate demise. He eventually died and they breathed a sigh of short-lived relief. His son who took over his position was even worse than he was. In spite of his terrible behaviour he dearly wanted the respect of his subjects. One day he came upon a hapless ben Yisroel and asked him what was his opinion of the new emperor. He answered that he always prayed for a long life for the present emperor. The emperor was quite taken aback with this response and asked why he wished him a long life. He responded that during the lifetime of his father he prayed for his death, but now that he had experienced the even greater pain of the emperor's son's reign he felt that if this emperor were to die it was quite likely that his son would be even worse, so he prayed for a long life for the present emperor.

Similarly, Paroh advised Moshe that the bnei Yisroel pray for him as well because if he were to die his son would be an even crueler king. (Mish'k'nos Yaakov)

Ch. 9, v. 6: "Umimiknei vnei Yisroel lo meis echod" - And from the cattle of the bnei Yisroel not even one died - Even an animal that was on the verge of dying remained alive during this plague. (Sifsei Kohein)

Ch. 9, v. 26: "Rak b'eretz Goshen asher shom bnei Yisroel lo hoyoh borod" - Only in Goshen where the bnei Yisroel were present there was no hail - If a ben Yisroel was outside Goshen would it hail upon him? Rabbeinu Menachem notes that our verse could have left out the word "rak." By stating "rak" the verse has two exclusions, "rak" and "lo." We have a rule that a double exclusion creates an inclusion, and we may derive from this that even areas outside Goshen where a ben Yisroel was present had no hail.

Gri"z haLevi Brisker says that the hail did not come down indiscriminately, but rather, each piece of hail was a "smart bomb," precisely hitting a specific target. It would surely follow that no hail hit a "ben Yisroel."

Ch. 9, v. 26: "Rak b'eretz Goshen asher shom bnei Yisroel lo hoyoh borod" - Only in Goshen where the bnei Yisroel were present there was no hail - Although it did not hail in Goshen, nevertheless, the thunderous sounds were heard. The gemara Brochos 59 says that the sounds accompanying thunder were created to strike fear into a person and straighten out the crookedness of his heart. This was needed even for the bnei Yisroel. (Haa'meik Dovor)

Ch. 9, v. 30: "Terem tiro'un mipnei Hashem" - You are not yet fearful of Hashem - This is Rashi's translation of "terem," and he says that to translate "terem" as "before" is incorrect. However, Toldos Noach offers that if we were to translate it as "before," it is to be understood as follows: A person is supposed to fear Hashem simply because He is the absolute Master, and all is negligible in His presence. However, some fear the impending punishment for those who transgress His word or wish. Moshe is telling Paroh that he has no fear of Hashem, but only has a fear that is "before" the fear of Hashem, the fear of punishment.



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha, Chasidic Insights and Chamisha Mi Yodei'a

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