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Friday, January 27

פרשת וארא - Make (some of) it stop!

In the plague of ברד, hail, HaShem brought down hail accompanied by קולות, thunder. The hail also seemed to include rain. However, points out מנחת יצחק, when Paroah demands that Moshe pray that the plague end (ט:כח) he asks him to pray that the thunder and the hail should cease, but he does not mention the rain. This is because, as Rashi has mentioned many times, Egypt did not receive rain and relied solely on the Nile for irrigation. Therefore, Paroah would have been more than happy for the rain to stay. They needed it. However, when Moshe davens to HaShem, the pasuk (לג) recounts that the thunder, the hail and the rain ceased. Thus, when Paroah saw this, as the next pasuk tells us, that he saw that the rain, the hail and the thunder had ceased (note how the order is switched from the previous pasuk), he hardened his heart for he saw that his request wasn't fully carried out.

שבת שלום
Have a good Shabbos


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting bit, but why would Paroh be happy for the rain to stay? Until this point the Nile provided irrigation needs. This system never failed. It would appear to me that NEEDING the rain to fall may be part of the plague, by indicating that the Nile may no longer be a self-sufficient irrigation system.

Why didn't Pharoh see the rain as part of the plague?

Shabbat Shalom,

1/27/2006 2:46 PM  
Blogger Shtikler said...

כי הארץ אשר אתה בא שמה לרשתה--לא כארץ מצרים הוא אשר יצאתם משם: אשר
תזרע את-זרעך והשקית ברגלך כגן הירק
(דברים יא:י)

Although the Nile-based irrigation worked, it is clear from this pasuk that a system based on rain, which removes the need to physically transport the water, is advantageous. The Egyptians would easily have taken this system over the one they had in place.

1/27/2006 3:08 PM  
Blogger Shtikler said...

Indeed, there is no specific mention of there having been rain when the plague struck Egypt. However, I believe the assumption is based on the pasuk (ט:לג) that recounts the cessation of the hail - the words וּמָטָר לא נִתַּךְ אָרְצָה are superfluous.

1/29/2006 3:26 AM  

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