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 MASEI AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

On the Road of Life
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

Setbacks and Comebacks
Shlomo Katz - 5764

One Heart
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Holy Words!
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5757

Motivational Techinque
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

Recognizing the Honor and Kindness of Others
Rabbi Yona Zohn - 5761

Looking for a Chavrusah?

9th of Av: Reasons for Fasting - Part 1
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

The Age Of Experience
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5772

Where Have You Been?
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

> The Daughters of Tzlofchad
Shlomo Katz - 5758

What to Make of My Summer Break?!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

Crossover Holiness
Shlomo Katz - 5760

ArtScroll

Faithful Contentment
Rabbi Naphtali Hoff - 5774

Wandering Jew
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5762

Close Enough?
Rabbi Label Lam - 5774

The Nine Days of Mourning
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758



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