Va’eira 5779


The vicious cycle of anger[1]

ויט אהרן את-ידו על מימי מצרים ותעל הצפרדע ותכס את-ארץ מצרים
Aharon held out his arm over the water of Egypt, and the frog came up and covered the land of Egypt[2]

The second of the ten plagues was the plague of frogs. The frogs were everywhere. They were in the Egyptians’ households, including their kitchens and bedrooms[3]. Miraculously, they even entered the Egyptians; bodies and croaked in their digestive tracks[4]. The verse that introduces the plague has a grammatical oddity. It says that the frog came up and covered the land of Egypt. Why is this word in the singular? The simple explanation[5] is that sometimes things that are great in number are described in the singular. This is because when they are on-mass, they appear to be one giant force to be reckoned with. This is what happened in Egypt.

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