Vaeira – Shishi

"Boiling" Mad

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

And so, G-d sent wild animals to attack the Egyptians. Pharaoh summoned Moshe and told him that he would allow them to sacrifice to G-d in the land of Egypt.

“That won’t do,” Moshe replied. “Our sacrifices are animals that your people revere. If the Egyptians saw us offering them up, they’d riot. Nope, we’ve got to have that three-day trek.”

“Fine!” said Pharaoh. “You can go, just not too far – and you’ve got to pray for me while you’re at it!”

“Deal,” said Moshe. “When I leave here, I’ll pray to G-d and tomorrow, He’ll take the animals away. But no more of your tricks!”

Moshe prayed and G-d removed the animals, but Pharaoh again reneged on his promise to release the Jews.

And so, G-d sent Moshe back to Pharaoh yet again. This time, Moshe warned Pharaoh that G-d would send a plague against the Egyptians’ livestock. Once again, G-d protected the Jews from the plague so that not one of their animals died.

For the sixth plague, G-d told Moshe to take handfuls of soot from a furnace and to throw it in the air in Pharaoh’s presence. The ash scattered throughout Egypt and, wherever it fell, people and animals broke out in painful boils. Pharaoh’s magicians were rendered useless to him, as they were all incapacitated by the outbreak.

After this, Moshe returned to Pharaoh and warned him that all of this was pre-game stuff and that he should really reconsider his position before the main event.

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