With a jam packed Parsha, sometimes it’s easy to overlook some seemingly strange narrative. Take this one exchange between Moshe and Pahroh. Mitzrayim is under siege form the frogs and Pahroh beseeches Moshe, “Prey for me that the frogs should stop”. Moshe responds “When should they stop? (VaEira: 8:5) Really? Is there any answer other than “NOW!! Right NOW”!? Apparently so, – Pahroh in fact responds, “tomorrow” (8,6). Make these insufferable frogs go away tomorrow. What on earth can that be about. Why wouldn’t Pharoh want the frogs to go away immediately? This perplexing question is followed up with the Macca of Kinim where Pharoh’s magicians concede that this is “the finger of G-d” as they could not work magic on anything of that small a size. Nevertheless, there were several plagues later which were of larger size yet the magicians were never heard from again.
The Ramban learns that the magicians quip that this was “the finger of G-D”, was in fact meant as a slight. The Ramban says that they referred to the “finger” of G-d as opposed to the Yad Hashem – the “hand” of Hashem as a way of saying “there is perhaps a little bit of G-d involvement here. But only a little bit. The magicians knew full well that it was Hashem and they were powerless but this allowed them to save a little face before disappearing from the scene. This may also give us an inkling into Pharoh’s response to the question of when the frogs should stop. Imagine Pharoh’s wheels turning. He can request a specific time for the frogs to vanish and give himself a whole day to run around telling everyone, “don’t worry – by this time tomorrow the frogs will be gone. I have taken care of it.”
Join BJL on WhatsApp Status: Click here to Join BJL status for engagements, births, deals, levayos, events & more
Join BJL on WhatsApp Groups: Click here to Join an official BJL WhatsApp group for breaking news as it happens
Faced with open miracles which they could not replicate, the human stubbornness is still present. Save face. Deceive. Anything but concede the dominion of Hashem. Almost like a Pandemic – “we know how to handle this”. Shut everything down, lock everyone up, close the shuls. That will help. We got this. Oh, its surging, do it again. Collateral problems? Drug overdose at record levels, teen suicides at unprecedented rates, the elderly losing their minds from being locked up. Shalom bayis issues of horrific numbers. Can’t be that we are in fact powerless? Can’t be that Hashem is trying to teach us a little humility. Hashem is in charge. Try as you may and there may have been a time for that. But after a whole year it’s simply time to admit what everyone else already knows. No-one knew what they were doing and now we are just trying to save face rather than admit the obvious. It’s Hashem’s world. Perhaps we should learn the real lesson that we are supposed to take away whenever we are struck by the Yad Hashem… be better people, be better parents, spouses and children. Be better neighbors if that’s ever permitted again. And learn a little humility. You don’t got this. You never did.