Thought of the Week: Vaera - 5775
A Leaping Message
After ignoring the fact that the Nile supernaturally turned into blood, Moshe warned Pharaoh that “If you refuse to let them go, behold, I will plague all your country with frogs. The Nile shall swarm with frogs that shall come up into your house and into your bedroom and on your bed and into the houses of your servants and your people, and into your ovens and your kneading bowls. The frogs shall come up on you and on your people and on all your servants.” Aharon stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt.
Commentators wonder what the symbolic significance is of the plague of frogs. The annoying amphibians with their protruding eyes are widely known as exceptional jumpers. They actually can launch themselves over 20 times their own length!
The Midrash, basing itself on the verse in Shir HaShirim, "The voice of my beloved, behold he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping over the hills", notes that Jewish redemption comes forth with a leap. The name of the holiday of Pesach is actually derived from the Hebrew words "leap over." Thus, after the plague of blood nullified the deification of the Nile, the next message, by means of a plague, was to inform the Jews of the redemption by a creature that symbolizes the "leap."