Portion Va Aiy Rah – Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Frog?

Portion Va Aiy Rah – Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Frog?

Heard it all before – right? Before last Passover? Really, now!

Like my daughter said to me, "How many times do I have to listen to rabbis on the radio talking about– the story of Israelites in Egypt?"

But Like Rabbi Fanger said on the radio Monday – imagine Pharoah's wife, seeing Moses and the snakes of the sorcerers – AAAHHHH! OIY! And then Moses' snake turns back into a stick – and EATS the other snakes! Ugh uch yech!

So she yells  "Let the Israelites GO already!"  Okay – sweet and cute. Imagination helps.

In Hebrew school – and in Israel – before Passover - kids sing about Pharoah in Pyjamas and about the Red Sea splitting like in the 10 Commandments movie.

In this morning (Friday)'s Talmud class we read "Rabbah Bar Bar Chana saw a giant frog, and then a flying snake ate him…"  
Was that about Israelites in Egypt – or about Marc Antony Ceaser and Cleopatra – OR
A prophecy about Al Kaida and Osama Bin Laden and Iran – and Obama and Biden?
This portion raises questions - did anyone miss Moses 40 years while he was raising his family in Midian? How fearful of the Egyptians were the Israelites? 
How is a 3000 year old story relevant to today's issue

Rabbi Kram (may he and all not well people get well soon) says "Egypt and Israel" is a story that proves there is something Beyond the Natural that is watching over Israel – and the whole world.

When I was a kid I knew most of the names of the countries of the UN – our "world".

Then Africa became 20 or so countries, and - then Russia – the USSR - split into a million pieces – and we learned they ALL had seats in the UN. And there were China and Taiwan. And North and South Korea. Rhodesia? The names sometimes change. Who cared about nukes in Iran?

And terror organizations? How many people can name 3 or 4?

And in Israel the Beduins served in the Israeli Army (IDF) then. But this week Beduin kids sprayed graffiti and overturned tombstones in a Jewish  Cemetery near Beer Sheva – where Abraham and Isaac lived!

I really wanted to write this week about fear – and the statements of Rav Kook in the 20's and of Roosevelt in the 40's. The Egypt saga last week had Israelites complaining to Moses and him complaining to the Almighty. Was that about not knowing things TAKE TIME?

Rabbi Kram says "Egypt and Israel" is a timeless  story that proves there is something beyond the Natural that is watching over Israel

I think Israel in Egypt is about all the pangs  of Nation Birth – where unfortunately all the world says it's about Power and Money. The Almighty has other plans for the world.

Kindergarten kids know about Big Bird. But "out there" today  are DRONES and ROBOTS and flying snakes (flying cars that can deliver to hospitals not just deliver bombs?) grabbing the scary giant frogs just before they wreak havoc (and as Rabbah Bar Bar Chana implies – we have to believe the Israelite People are CONSTANTLY saved by G-d alone).

And also about – well, the funny side of the Bible – and the challenges of Moses growing up in a palace but creating the Sabbath REST - and a new nation conceived in dedication … well

There's a lot to read and think about in this week's portion. Enough to hopefully save another generation of our people from forgetting….?

Shabbat Shalom – Health and Peace and Knowing What's Beyond Our Regular Boundaries