MidrESHET Hayil

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Parashat Va’Era- Understand That It Is HaShem’s Hand

Parashat Va’Era

Understand That It Is HaShem’s Hand

15. So the sorcerers said to Pharaoh, "It is the finger of HaShem," but Pharaoh's heart remained steadfast, and he did not hearken to them, as HaShem had spoken.

טו. וַיֹּאמְרוּ הַחַרְטֻמִּים אֶל פַּרְעֹה אֶצְבַּע אֱ־לֹהִים הִוא וַיֶּחֱזַק לֵב פַּרְעֹה וְלֹא שָׁמַע אֲלֵהֶם כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר ה :

Until this point, Pharaoh’s magicians were able to replicate every single sign/miracle that Aharon HaKohen and Moshe Rabbenu executed in order to prove to Pharaoh that HaKadosh Barukh Hu is requesting of him to free Benei Yisrael from bondage. When Aharon and Moshe’s staff turned into a serpent once it was thrown onto the ground, so did the staffs of the Egyptian sorcerers; it didn’t phase Pharaoh. When the makot/plagues of dam (blood) and sefardea (frogs) fell upon the Egyptians, the Egyptian magicians were able to replicate these phenomena as well. Pharaoh was left unmoved. However, once the makah/plague of Kinim befell Egypt, the sorcerers were not able to replicate this and immediately declared ‘This is the Hand of GD’, ‘Essba E-lokim Hea’. They realized that these were no longer natural occurrences happening that they were able to themselves control, but that there was a Divine Hand guiding all of these incidents.
According to the Kabbalah, there are ten Sefirot which represent the lights of energy or characteristics which Ribono Shel Olam created in man and Creation. These characteristics make up the inner personality of each person. The Sefirot can be seen in the ten makot/plagues of Egypt in their ‘negative’ or corrupt form. Each of the ten makot/plagues directly corresponds to one of the Sefirot. The third plague of kinim (lice), is seen as a corruption of the Sefirah of Hod, which represents submission and devotion.
The eighth of the Sefirot, Hod, represents submission and devotion stemming from humility. Hod means to praise; it is a certain acknowledgment and splendor, which allows the expression of appreciation and gratitude. When we are humble enough to understand that we have an ultimate Creator and Provider, we express much appreciation to Him and not only that, we can fully submit to Him knowing that He runs the world. Hod allows a person to continue on when faced with life’s unexpected obstacles, knowing everything happens for a reason and according to HaShem’s will. It is ‘Essba E-lokim’, HaShem’s guiding Finger that runs our life.
How long will it take us until we realize HaShem’s Hand? At what point do we pull back and submit ourselves completely to HaShem, declaring ‘Essba E-lokim Hea’?

Pharaoh’s magicians only submitted once they were unable to replicate the lice. According to them, anything past the point where one not capable of doing themselves, that is where HaKadosh Barukh Hu comes in, but until then, it is all the product of a human effort. This is wrong. No matter whether or not you are able to replicate Ma’aseh HaShem (something that HaShem does), it is always coming from Him. When you breathe, you think it is very much your own power that is doing this work but this is an extension of divine Will that is allowing you to do so. We must see HaKadosh Barukh Hu in everything. Even in dust. Because the very dust which we thought was nothing turned into powerful lice. HaKadosh Barukh Hu controls everything, we must submit to Him and realize everything is His Essba.

Until how long do we keep pushing only to realize that its HaShem’s will?? How many makot must we endure to finally realize that it is not in our control, something we can create or replicate but rather something greater than us in control and we must submit to Him? If we submit, we can see life from lifeless things….lice from dust. We can see things that we never thought would have potential to develop becoming powerful sources of life and growth. Our own selves first- if we think it is in our control, we will try and try to replicate to no avail. If we submit, even the parts of us we thought are dust and lay dormant will be infused with energy and vivacity…except instead of turning into lice, it will turn into LIFE.

Not only must we submit to HaShem Yitbarakh, but we must commit to this submission and carry this feeling through. How many times do we say ‘Oh wow this is  certainly HaShem’s doing!’ submitting to Him completely but only feel it at the moment, and just like Pharaoh, we forget after time passes, when things begin to ease? When the plagues are difficult, Pharaoh recognizes HaKadosh Barukh Hu and agrees to free Benei Yisrael but after the plagues get better, he doesn’t feel the presence of HaShem and again refuses to free them. HaKadosh Barukh Hu has to keep sending makot over and over again to remind him who really is King. Same with us. If we keep forgetting, has veShalom, HaShem may have to keep sending makot to remind us that He is everywhere and controls everything.

Be’Ezrat HaShem may we all develop the humility to acquire the attribute of Hod, allowing us to submit ourselves completely to HaShem Yitbarakh and recognize His Essba in everything we do. In this zekhut, may we all be saved from life’s makot and only grow from our experiences.

Shabbat Shalom uMevorakh!
Ariella Samimi

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