You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Vaera’ tag.

It is a valid question to ask, “What made Moses the most humble man?” (Num. 12:3) There are several answers to this question but I believe one of the paramount answers is located right here in this week’s parasha. Carefully read the following verse:

“And the L-RD said to Moses, “See, I have made you like G-d to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet.”  Exodus 7:1

I am unable to find an additional verse that recounts someone being made like G-d as it is written in this verse. Moses was given extraordinary power and supernatural characteristics throughout his life. Any ordinary human, placed in a similar position, would instantly succumb to pride and arrogance. Scripture teems with examples of human corruptibility. Yet Moses, through the help of HaShem, maintained an unsurpassed humility. Does this remind you of someone? Perhaps these verses will demonstrate the similarities of the two characters.

“21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:21-24

Both Moses and Yeshua were incomprehensibly humble. At any moment Moses could have used his power and recognition to bring glory to himself, though he did not. In the rare cases when Moses transgressed G-d corrected and punished him swiftly and justly. Despite any error Moses was still endowed with title of most humble man on earth. Also, at any moment Yeshua could have used His power and recognition to destroy the naysayers and the hypocrites, though He did not. As a lamb led to slaughter He was silent and paid the debt of our sin. The parallel of humility is yet another reason why Yeshua was and is a Prophet like Moses. (Deut. 18:15, Jn. 5:46)

This week’s portion contains the first 7 plagues: the Nile turned to blood, frogs, gnats, flies, devastation of livestock, boils, and hail. The magicians were able to replicate each plague (which is very ironic since intelligent people would attempt to *reverse* the plague) until the passage about the plague of gnats.

“The magicians tried by their secret arts to produce gnats, but they could not. So there were gnats on man and beast.”  Exodus 8:18

This is the last attempted replication of the plagues. Once the magicians reached the limit of their facade they were left with no other choice but to acknowledge G-d’s sovereignty. (Ex. 8:19) The Hebrew word for gnats (ken) presents a potential explanation for their inability to imitate this plague. Gnats (ken) is only used 5 times in the Tanach and three of which are here in Exodus. Here are the other two verses:

“He spoke, and there came swarms of flies, and gnats (ken) throughout their country.” Psalm 105:31

“Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and they who dwell in it will die in like manner (ken); but my salvation will be forever, and my righteousness will never be dismayed.”  Isaiah 51:6

The verse in Psalms is simply a recount of the passages in Exodus, but the verse in Isaiah should appear strange. “In like manner?” The Hebrew word for “thus or like this” is kakah as used in Exodus 12:11, “In this manner you shall eat it..” The verse in Isaiah is more comprehendible if kakah is used because it would read, “and they who dwell in it will die like this.” The word ken is used deliberately. I believe it illuminates the passage in Exodus. One of the reasons the magicians could not duplicate the plague is found here in Isaiah. HaShem’s salvation will be forever and His righteousness will never be dismayed. All human attempts at competing with G-d will wear out and vanish, but His Name will be glorified by His marvelous works and His eternal salvation. There exists a limit to human ingenuity, creativity, and even sorcery, but G-d is limitless. In this parasha, even wicked necromancers recognized the sovereignty of G-d. This week, let us remember to cease from vainly striving for success through our own hands and rely solely on the assistance of our sovereign G-d.


Enter your email address to follow MenOfTorah and receive notifications of new discussions by email.

Join 196 other subscribers

RSS Tzadik Class Podcast

  • Defending - Lesson 6 September 11, 2019
  • Defending - Lesson 5 September 11, 2019
  • Defending - Lesson 4 September 4, 2019
  • Defending - Lesson 3 August 28, 2019

RSS Bella Torah Teaching

  • B'reisheet 5780 October 26, 2019
  • Nitzavim 5779 September 28, 2019

RSS The Bella Torah Meetup

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.