Friday, January 11, 2013

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Va'era

The following is a brief summary of thoughts said over by R' Frand on the parsha this evening. I have attempted to reproduce these vorts to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand.
In this week's parsha Moshe tells Hashem, the Jews aren't listening to me, so how will Pharaoh listen to me. Rashi on this pasuk says that this is one of the ten kal v'chomer (aka a fortiori arguments) mentioned in the Torah.
The meforshim ask on this Rashi (Shemos 6:12) -- there is a reason that the Jews would not listen to Moshe - because the Jews were exhausted from hard work. So this is not a true kal v'chomer because Pharaoh is not oppressed, he is a free man sitting in his palace.
R' Frand quoted the Ohr Hayashar who says that it is a true kal v'chomer. In the end of Shemos (4:31), it states that the Jews believed Moshe. When viewed in this light there is a true kal v'chomer, but it is slightly different than one would first think. The transformed kal v'chomer is the following argument - the people at one point had faith in me and now do not, how can Pharaoh who never believed me be expected to believe now.
R' Frand also quoted the sefer Darash Mordechai who explains the kal v'chomer as follows. Pharaoh was not a free man. Pharaoh had to live up to the image that he created of himself as a deity. But Pharaoh was a human and had bodily needs - he needed to go to the bathroom. So once a day, Pharaoh would get up early and go down to the Nile to do his business. But the rest of the day, Pharaoh had to suppress his needs.
The kal v'chomer can now be taught - the Jews who are oppressed will not listen to me, so how can  Pharaoh who has his own oppression, be expected to listen?
R' Frand also quoted a vort on the plague of frogs. The pasuk states (Shemos 8:8) that Moshe cried out to Hashem to end the frogs. The Zohar states that this is truly crying out when the language of vayitzak is used. But why did Moshe need to cry out to end the plague?  Pharaoh is a terrible person - let him suffer!
R' Frand answered by quoting a Rav Bunim M'Parshizcha that the purpose of the plagues was to show that there is a power of davening - prayer helps. By yelling out, Moshe was demonstrating that tefillah helps to end troubles.
There was one additional vort on Arov which R'Frand said, but I will iyh try to post it next week as the hour is late.
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