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Friday, January 11

The Weekly Shtikle - Vaeira

    As we all know, we drink four cups of wine at the seder. These four cups are traditionally connected with the four exodus-related verbs found at the beginning of this week's parsha. Moshe is commanded to assure B'nei Yisroel (6:6-7) "vehotzaisi," I will bring you out, "vehitzalti," I will save you, "vega'alti," I will deliver you, "velakachti," I will take you for a nation. However, as the pesukim continue, we find a fifth verb used, "veheiveisi," and I will bring you to the land. Traditionally, this fifth verb is matched up with the extra cup that we pour for Eliyahu HaNavi. What is it that sets this assurance apart? Why do we consider 4 principal promises and the fifth is merely extra. And what is the specific connection to Eliyahu's cup?

    R' Shmuel Wagner, Mashgiach of Ohr Yerushalayim in Eretz Yisroel where I attended, offers the following thought: After enduring centuries of hardship, it was clearly time for B'nei Yisroel to be delivered from Egypt. The first four steps were inevitable. The time had come and that was that. However, between step four and five, there was a condition. After HaShem's promise to take us for a nation, Moshe declares "And I (HaShem) will be for you a God and you will know that I am HaShem, your God..." B'nei Yisroel reaching step five was contingent upon their acceptance and recognition of HaShem. Only when they reach that hight would they merit to be brought into Eretz Yisroel. This clearly separates "veheiveisi" from the rest. Furthermore, we now see a connection to Eliyahu HaNavi. The fifth step is the ultimate redemption, when we are brought into Eretz Yisroel on our merits. We are now constantly striving to reach that goal, to merit the coming of Moshiach, may he come speedily in our day. When Eliyahu comes in and has a taste of our wine, he gives us but a little taste of that final redemption.


Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:
Dikdukian: Dikdukei Va'eira by Eliyahu Levin
Dikdukian: Leshon Yachid veRabbim by Eliayhu Levin
AstroTorah: Stars Fell on Egypt by R' Ari Storch

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