Parshas Va’era – Blood and Frogs

This week in the Torah:

The Egyptian Exile is so harsh that the Jews cannot accept Moses’ prophecy regarding their coming Exodus. At this point, G-d punishes Egypt with the plagues, the first of which are 1) Blood and 2) Frogs.


Even during one’s toughest spiritual, personal “Exile”, one has the power to overcome it by applying the spiritual equivalent of smiting his personal “Egypt” with the aforementioned plagues.


Blood symbolizes life and warmth, two major characteristics of Holiness. In man’s service this means to relate to holy matters in a warm and lively manner. This changes the “Nile” – cold water, representing impurity’s apathetic coolness towards holy matters – into the aforementioned warmth.

Amphibians, (frogs), represent the coolness of the water from where they come. To overcome one’s spiritual struggles, coolness must be cast over the oppositional warmth of impurity.

These two modes of service can be encapsulated in the terms “Do good” and “Divert from evil.”

Upon analysis:

Although, generally, man must first rid himself of evil in order to be a welcoming host to goodness, the order in which the Torah tells of the plagues is first Blood then Frogs. Thereby, the Torah imparts that there are also times when man must, first and foremost, inculcate himself with a drive and passion for the holy and from this will eventually result the proper coolness towards and reduction of evil; until it will be completely overshadowed and eventually cease completely and only holiness shall reign, with the arrival of Moshiach, speedily.

(Based on Likkutei Sichos Vol. 1, Va’eira)


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