Contact Us

Va’eira: The Start of Redemption

Va’eira: The Start of Redemption


Editor's Note:

Dear Friend,

This week we read about the first of the Ten Plagues, in which G‑d had Moses turn the Nile to blood. Of all things, why the Nile, and why blood?

My grandfather heard the following thought from the Rebbe, of sainted memory, over 65 years ago:

The Nile River was the Egyptians’ sole source of water, and they worshipped it as a god. After all, without the Nile there would be no bread to eat and no life-sustaining blood coursing through their veins.

G‑d, however, was sending them a message: “It is not the Nile that nourishes you. It is I who gives you life. Proof is that if I turn the water to blood, bypassing the process that I have put in place, not only will the Nile not give you life, it will make you ill.”

It is not my job, my hard work, or my unique talents that give me life, but G‑d, who in His kindness orchestrates things just so that I may sustain myself.

So, even as we swim up the Nile, trying to stay afloat and solvent, let us make sure to recognize G‑d as the true Giver of Life.

Menachem Posner,
on behalf of the Editorial Team

Of Lice and Men

Too little attention has been paid to the use of humor in the Torah. Its most important form is the use of satire to mock the pretensions of human beings who think they can emulate G‑d.
Ten Ways to Destroy Your Life

Destructive confidence, cold intimacy, unhealthy submission, wild ambition, sly compassion, brutal rejection, frozen love, perverted intelligence, a locked mind, and the death of identity . . .
Did Pharaoh Have Free Will?

How was Pharaoh punished for refusing to free the Israelites, if G‑d hardened his heart, making him immune to the plagues?
Va’eira in a Nutshell
G-d promises to redeem the Israelites from their oppression. Moses and Aaron repeatedly demand of Pharaoh to let the nation leave. The Egyptians experience the first seven plagues: blood, frogs, lice, wild animals, pestilence, boils and hail.
Bar/Bat Mitzvah Resources
Interactive Torah Trainer
Learn to chant your aliyah blessings, torah portion and haftarah reading like a pro!
Bat Mitzvah Megasite
Your one-stop shop for speeches, inspiration, ideas and everything you need to create a meaningful and uniquely feminine event . . .
Bar Mitzvah Megasite
Tools, trainers, resources, guides, online instruction and all the other ingredients to make a bar mitzvah relevant and spiritual portal to Jewish manhood . . .
Meet the Biblical Heroines
Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Leah, Jochebed, Miriam, Chana . . . Discover the women who left their mark on Jewish history, and why we admire them.
Contemporary Jewish Life
The Fireflies

She knew that her mother was unlike other mothers. She knew that something had happened to her, but she was never exactly sure what had happened. Her past was divided into “The War” and “Before The War,” never talking about either.
Finding Meaning in the Sandwich Generation

It’s the busiest stage of life, and the easiest time to neglect one’s spirituality. But can we really afford to wait until life slows down?
The Bad Parent

We seem to judge others, consciously or not, by how our life works. If my baby sleeps through the night, I must be doing something right. If your baby cries all night long, you must be doing something wrong.
What Happens After We Die?

Where do we go? What is heaven and hell? Do we ever get sent back for a second life? Is there any way to make contact with a departed loved one?
Why Babylonian Names for Jewish Months?

The original system was to count the months in numeric order.
The Rabbi and the Cow

There was a rabbi, a very good and pious man, who wanted to see justice in the world. But it often seemed to him that good people got punished, and that bad or undeserving people thrived and prospered.
Give Me the Shivers

“I’m afraid you have contacted a rare disease for which, as of yet, no cure has been found. I suggest you return home immediately,” said the doctor.
Neshama (Soul)
Letting our soul shine through, bringing the light within us out. Look beyond that physical disguise, and see the life. Look within, see beyond. Let G‑d shine through.
“Orange” Soup

Winter got you chilled? Try some thick orange soup. It’s sure to warm you up!
Jewish News
Worldwide Events Commemorate Chabad’s Founder

Hundreds of scholars and students of Jewish history, law and mysticism will be attending “Chabad: History, Philosophy, Image.”
A Chassidic Self-Help Library: Texts That Bring Meaning to Life

Their eyes glued to the Hebrew text, seem detached from their surroundings at the late hour, as Rabbi Yosef Vigler reads and explains.
“And I will lead on slowly . . . until I come to my lord to Seir” (Genesis 33:14). Said Rabbi Abbahu: We have searched the entire Scriptures and did not find that Jacob ever went to Esau to the mountain of Seir. Is it possible that Jacob, the truthful, should deceive him? But when would he come to him? In the Messianic Era, when “the saviors shall ascend Mount Zion to judge the mountain of Esau.”
— Midrash Rabbah