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Friday, January 26

The Weekly Shtikle - Bo

The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my dear Zadie and Bubbie, HaRav Chaim Yaakov ben Yitzchak and Yehudis bas Reuven Pinchas.
Ari Storch, (author of Tiferes Aryeh) has written an intriguing essay conerning the star "ra'ah" which is referred to in Rashi in this week's parsha (10:10). You can read it here:
    There is some disussion regarding the exact methodology behind the ten plagues - what the plagues represented individually and as a whole and why they were in ther specific order. I would like to focus on a specific subset of the ten plagues. In four out of the ten plagues, Egypt was invaded by animals. This animal invasion seems to have a theme of its own. Rashi (Bereishis 1:26) writes man was created to rule over the fish, the birds and the animals. However, if man is not worthy, he will become subservient to the animals. This four-pronged attack from the animal kingdom served to prove that the Egyptians had reached that level and they needed to be shown that they were no longer in charge.
    The first animal invasion was that of frogs. Although the frogs invaded the land, there is very specific mention of their emergence from the water and their subsequent return to the water after the plague was over. The Nile, which the Egyptians worshipped as a deity of sorts, was completely out of their control.
    The invasion of lice came from the ground beneath the feet of the people. The attack of the wild beasts sybolized the Egyptians' defeat above ground. Finally, the locusts represented the animal kingdom's establishing aerial supremacy, as it were, over Egypt. The four animal infiltrations together symbolized Egypt's loss of power and ultimate subservience to the animals in all physical realms of our world.
Have a good Shabbos.
Eliezer Bulka


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