Thursday, January 14, 2010

I'll tell you why the frogs

The Rebbe explains what the deal with the frogs was, in a sicha in Chelek...Chof Vov, maybe?

The purpose of the plagues was not just to punish the Egyptians. The plagues were also meant to instill in them an acknowledgment, and subsequent submission to G-d. The Egyptians had a unique type of Klippah that needed to be broken. They were...froggy. And I'll clarify what I mean with that.

There are three basic ways to rebel against Hashem. The three who crystallize these ways are good old villains of Judaism: Paaroh, Bilaam, and Sancheriv. Let us start with Bilaam.

Bilaam was a bad guy. But he knew who G-d was, and that He wasn't someone to mess around with. Bilaam declared that he could not go against G-d. Yet this belief system which many goyim held, declared that there were other powerful gods.
Sancheriv completely went against G-d, and tried to deny His existence. But what happens when you are strongfully opposed to the existence of something? You automatically prove the validity of that thing, which is causing your rebellion. (If you want to say this is like how an atheist saying he doesn't believe in G-d means he really must, you can. I'm not sure if it's the same here, though.)
Paaroh, though...that Paaroh. What did he tell his people? He had them convinced that he created the Nile river, and that he created himself! He wasn't denying the existence of G-d. He was saying that he was G-d. The real G-d and His existence never came up in discussion.

This last version of rebellion is the worst of the three. And it is represented by.... you guessed it: frogs!

The sages had proved that flies and mosquitos, while appearing extra, are in fact beneficial for the world. This parallels the idea of believing in the existence of G-d, but viewing Him as uninvolved with the world, and leaving other gods (Chas vshalom) in His place.

The sages even said that the dangerous, poisonous animals, which go against the wellbeing of the world, and detract from it, are still used for Hashem's shlichus. Even in such hurtful creatures we can see the existence of G-d. Like when they are used to punish the wicked.

But what about frogs? They aren't beneficial, but neither are they harmful. They're just...bleh. Nothing. You cannot see their purpose in G-d's world and G-d's mission for them. This is exactly the type of klippah that Egypt had!!

So Hashem blasted them with tons of frogs, to break this form of Klippah the Egyptians had. Even Paaroh who did not show the least recognition of Hashem's existence, whether supporting or denying Him, was stricken by this plague. Even Paaroh saw that this was coming from Hashem, and eventually even Paaroh acknowledged Hashem's existence, power, and control.

Have a good shabbos!
And Shabbat Shalom for my Hebrew speaking readers.