Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Vaera - The International Debt

by Rabbi Dovid Green

Seven of the Ten Plagues happen in this week's parsha. The first three, blood, frogs, and lice, have something in common. None of them were brought by Moshe. The first two involved the Nile River. The third, lice, involved dust. The commentaries tell us that Moshe could not bring these plagues personally because he had a debt of gratitude to the Nile River, and to the dust. The river brought him to safety when he was a baby placed in a floating basket on the Nile. The dust hid the Egyptian that he killed. He had to pay up his debt. Aharon brought these three plagues instead.

Would the river and the dust have a claim against Moshe had he ignored his debt of gratitude? Certainly not! Nevertheless, Moshe is teaching us a valuable life lesson. If he recognizes and acknowledges kindness which is done for him even by a river, then certainly he will have the same sensitivity toward people!

This is basic to Torah. Appreciation. Recognizing the good which others have done for us, and feeling a debt of gratitude. Appreciation is also why we serve G-d. It's difficult to begin counting all of the kindnesses G-d bestows on us. Even if He gives us our share of painful experiences, if we would weigh them next to all of the kindnesses, they would be insignificant in number. Focus on one life-function such as sight. It's overwhelming to try to understand how many things need to go right for sight to occur. These functions faithfully serve billions of people daily, and that's just one of so many!

The word "Jew" comes from the name Yehuda. Yehuda received his name from his mother Leah. Leah knew that of Yaakov's four wives she made the largest contribution of children to the tribes of the Jewish people. When Yehuda was born, the fourth child, Leah noted that she received more than her share. She named the child Yehuda which is derived from "hoda'ah," thankfulness. Appreciation is in our name and it is our essence. Getting in touch with our essence expresses itself through how much we try to pay our debt actively; daily. Moshe was in touch. Let's all try to do at least one thing each day as a tangible expression of our appreciation to G-d.

Good Shabbos.


Text Copyright © 1998 Rabbi Dovid Green and Project Genesis, Inc.



 

ARTICLES ON SHEMINI AND THE OMER:

View Complete List

The Blame Game
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5764

Just Say Traif!
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

Do What's Right
Shlomo Katz - 5762

> I Am Humble
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5757

Real Spirituality
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5755

Striking At the Heart of What the Jewish People are All About
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5774

Looking for a Chavrusah?

How To Win an Argument
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

We Are All Survivors
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5767

Will G-d Approve?
Shlomo Katz - 5771

ArtScroll

Brotherly Love
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5761

Great Expectations
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5761

The Special Spirituality of the Jew
Rabbi Yosef Kalatsky - 5763

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Remember The Avodah, Part 3
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

Prisms of Light - Reflections of Shattered Glass
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5772

For This You Have Been Chosen
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5760

Holy To G-d
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5767



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information