January 11, 2024 / Rosh Chodesh Shevat, 5784 • Parshat Va'eira
Issue 803
Dedicated in loving memory of Mrs. Miriam Friedman

In the second section of the Book of Exodus, G-d begins the process that will lead to the redemption of the Jews from Egyptian slavery. After some preparations, G-d then begins to strike the Egyptians with plagues.

Exodus 6:2–9:35

The first nine plagues can be divided into three sets of three, each of which was intended to teach Pharaoh and the Egyptians something about the belief in G-d:

• The first set of three plagues (blood, frogs, and lice) was intended to demonstrate G-d’s existence.

• The second set (the mixed horde, epidemic, and inflammation

of the skin) was intended to demonstrate G-d’s providence.

• The third set (hail, locusts, and darkness) was intended to demonstrate G-d’s supernatural power.

Thus, the plagues teach us that not only does G-d exist; He also directs the world and wishes to come to our aid, and that He can and does override the natural order.

--Daily Wisdom Volume 3