Drash Cards for VaYeira (5763)
by Marc Mangel
• We have the first 7 plagues, a big build up, short even as a prelude to the exodus itself. My question: what 400 yrs in Egypt (or any other time period)?
• The classic commentators say that there is some fault of the people and that God did not respond until now.
• An alternative: the time was needed for evolution from tribes to a nation. 400 years ~ 20 generations, which we know is enough for evolution.
• In Ch 6, v3, God says “I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as El Shaddai”.
• Fox says that the Hebrew is obscure and that the ‘Almighty’ in Genesis is the name most often attached to human fertility.
• For the patriarchs, fertility is the key. For Moses and afterward, there is a different kind of relationship with God.
• Ch 6, v3: They did not know the name Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey, v 4: V’gam can mean ‘and also’ or ‘in spite of’. In spite of this, God made the convenient.
• As we know from the Hagaddah, in verses 6 and 7 four different words for redemption are used .
• Coming out of slavery is a stage-wise process.
• Pinchas Peli says that even though the situation is intolerable, mental freedom is a pre-requisite for physical freedom. One has to be self-reliant and independent to be redeemed.