Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What's with the frogs?

All your water shall turn to blood! (Dun, dun, dun....)
The land will be plagued with swarms of devastating locusts and wild animals! (Dun, dun, dun...)
Your firstborn shall be smitten! (Dun, dun, dun....)
There will be lots of frogs! (Huh??)

Frogs? Seriously, though. Frogs?

Ask any of the campers in CGI Manalapan; frogs are no form of punishment. They are the best form of entertainment/pet/reward on the face of the planet. Put one in a cup, and your day is set.

Okay, so looooots of frogs could be hazardous, but so could tons of fluffy cotton balls.

The medrash records differing opinions about the creatures we find on Earth. The Rabbis say that "Everything Hashem created on this world, was not for naught." They go on to explain that this includes even flies, mosquitos, gnats, and the like. Although they seem insignificant and unimportant, there are still uses for them, as the Gemara provides remedies for different animal bites and ailments, which include mosquitos in the recipe, for example. Rav Acha goes one step further. Not only does this statement about Hashem's creations include the smallest gnat, which as the gemara explains actually does make a beneficial impact on the world, but even dangerous and harmful animals which are bad for the world were not created for nothing. "Even the snake, even the scorpion, and even the frog," Rav Acha explains, still have a purpose in their creation. Not only do they have a purpose, but Hashem tells his prophets, that Hashem can have these creatures fullfil His shlichus.
An example is how harmful and poisonous creatures are used to punish Reshaim, "Like with the frogs in Egypt. For without the frogs," Rav Acha concludes, "how else would the Egyptians be punished?"

The Rebbe says this does not make any sense. Like we said before, frogs are not harmful animals. Why are they the most extreme example of harmful animals? Also, 'how else could Egypt be punished?' Hmmm. Let's see. How about with blood, or boils, or any of the other plagues??
The question boils down to (pun intended): what's the deal with the frogs?


Anywho, I'm going to stop here for now. I'll probably finish with the explanation tonight or tomorrow. I don't want this getting too long, 'cause then nobody would read it. Feel free to put in the comments any explanation you know of.