Parshat Vaera (וארא) — Egyptian Magicians and the Finger of God

January 16, 2015
By bethmordecai
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Parshat Vaera (וארא) — Egyptian Magicians and the Finger of God

Parashat Va-era 2015/5775 (Triennial II): Egyptian Magicians and The Finger of God

In the second third of this week’s Torah portion (Exodus 7:8-8:15), we read of four instances in which Moses and Aaron demonstrate the power of God — through turning a rod into a snake (Exodus 7:8-10), changing the water of the Nile to blood (Exodus 7:17-21), spreading frogs throughout the land (Exodus 7:27-8:2), and creating lice from the dust of the earth (Exodus 8:12-13). In the first three instances, Egyptians magicians (hartumei mitzrayim) are able to replicate the miracles that Moses and Aaron demonstrate (Exodus 7:11-12; 22; 8:3). However, when they fail to replicate the fourth miracle/plague (i.e. the lice) they proclaim to Pharaoh  that “this is the finger of God” (8:14-15) and are never heard from again.

Why are the Egyptian magicians not able to perform this miracle/plague? What is the significance of their proclamation that this is “the finger of God”? And finally, what does this story teach us about the human relationship with God’s power?

Join us as we discuss these questions and more during today’s Online Parashah Class!

Category : Online Learning Online Parashah Class
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