Shabbat is more than a day of refraining from worldly activity.

When experienced to its spiritual fullest, its holiness enlightens all other days of the week.

We invite you to enhance your Shabbat with these words of Torah.


Egyptian woman grossed out by frogs everywhere

A Short Thought on Parshat Va’eira

A Short Thought on Parshat Va’eira

Adlerstein, Rabbi Yitzchok
January 19, 2023

“There were two objectives in the ten plagues: to punish Pharaoh and the Mitzrim (Egyptians)… for the way they treated the Jewish people… and to bring back the Jewish people to HKBH, to strengthen their emunah and bitachon.


Why does [the Haggadah, which we read on Pesach recounting the story of the exodus from Egypt] splits the recitation of the ten makos (plagues) into three distinct categories?


They are three distinct and different categories:


The first three, dam (blood), tzefardeia (frogs), kinim (lice), are miracles performed on the lowest level of creation, the dust of the earth and the water in the seas and lakes.


With the next three, arov (wild animals), dever [a fatal pestilence that killed most of the domestic animals of the Egyptians], shechin (boils) – [affecting] the bodies of humans and animals… we go up a level, from the earth and waters to the living creatures.


The next three [affect] the heavens and the heavenly powers. We go up another stage – barad (hail) – falling out of the skies, arbeh (grasshoppers) – brought by the winds, choshech (darkness)… blocking out the light of the sun.


Ultimately, [makkat bechorot – death of the firstborn, affecting the] nefesh ha’adam (soul of man), human spirit and spark of human life…


The objective of these makos is not only punishment…but primarily to open the hearts and minds of bnei Yisrael and bring them closer to HKBH – after hundreds of years in golus (exile), they were so far away- planting into their hearts emunah and bitachon, recognizing that there is nothing aside from Hashem.


We need to do the same, to open our hearts and minds to HKBH and recognize that it is upon Hashem that we need to rely on, and to Hashem that we need to turn… We must daven and never forget for a moment that it is all up to HKBH.


[We are currently in the 4th and final exile, and our job now is also to open our eyes to HKBH in order to merit that final redemption, may it be soon]!”