Thursday, January 10, 2013

Parshat Vaera (Vaeira) thoughts, 5773/2013

Basics here.

Nothing new to add, at the moment.  Here are my oldies.
  • A tale of two haftarot (Monday, January 07, 2008)--Yep, Haftarat Vaera is superseded by Haftarat Rosh Chodesh yet again this year.  It's no wonder I'm so out of practice chanting Haftarat Vaera.
  • Parsha catch-up: Vaera (Sunday, January 02, 2011) Included is a link to a DovBear post containing more links than you can shake a stick at.
" . . . is it possible that the area then known as Goshen has or had a microclimate different from the area of Ancient Egypt that was, according to Torah, struck by the plagues, thus accounting for it having been spared most of the plagues? To mix this theory with a more traditional perspective, could HaShem have chosen shepherds to be our ancestors for the purpose of ensuring that, when we went down to Egypt, we'd end up in Goshen and be spared?"

". . . it's all a matter of pollution--once the Nile turns red/becomes polluted, all but the last plague (the death of the firstborn) pretty much follow as a result. It's natural for the frogs to bail out if the water's polluted, then die of whatever got under their skin (literally). The insects follow the mass death of the frogs, and disease results from the insect infestation. Naturally, I can't find the video, but the History Channel telecast a theory that the death of the firstborn was caused when a natural body of water released trapped gas, which killed only those privileged few who slept on close-to-the-ground beds (firstborn sons and high officials) rather than those sleeping higher up on rooftops (the majority of the population), who were at a high-enough elevation that the poisonous gas passed under them. Traditionalists shouldn't be alarmed by this interpretation--all of these natural phenomena could have been caused by G-d."

Conservadox likes naturalistic explanations, too.


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