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Parshat Va'era

During the retelling of the Exodus, at our seder tables, we often discuss the words “וְהוֹצֵאתִ֣י, וְהִצַּלְתִּ֥י, וְגָאַלְתִּ֤י, וְלָקַחְתִּ֨י”. These words have been used to represent the 4 cups that we drink. They represent Hashem’s actions, and so on. However, do we really know where these words came from?

In this week’s Parsha, Parshat Va'era (וארא), Hashem is discussing His place with the Jewish nation. He mentions how He “appeared” to our forefathers, without ever identifying Himself as G-d. When He does so, He promises to bring their descendants back to Israel after suffering in Egypt.

Unfortunately, the Jews were struggling with their belief that Hashem was there, constantly watching, and that He was truly going to bring them out of their misery. Therefore, Hashem explains His plans for the nation so Moshe can convey it to them.

These plans are almost entirely what the whole celebration of Pesach is about. The four words mentioned above, “וְהוֹצֵאתִ֣י, וְהִצַּלְתִּ֥י, וְגָאַלְתִּ֤י, וְלָקַחְתִּ֨י”, express Hashem’s message. In Pesukim ו׳ and ז׳ of Perek ו׳, He expressed that He planned on “bringing them out” from their bondage and “saving” them from this utter cruelty. He was going to “redeem” the nation and “take” them to Israel and fulfill his covenant with the forefathers.

This aspect of the Parsha demonstrates Hashem’s devotion to his promises. He told the forefathers exactly what would take place to their future generations, and He retold the Jews their future. He gave them hope, even if they were in doubt.

Hashem fought for the Jews to recognize His role in their lives. He made himself known, even while they continued to struggle to acknowledge Him and His actions. He reassured the Jews of their promising future, and He attempted to provide them with a light to look forward to.

We must exemplify Hashem’s actions by always doing our best to provide a spark of hope for those around us. We must learn to reassure ourselves and others, even while experiencing serious doubts. Furthermore, we must follow Hashem’s ways of always keeping His promises and work to only make achievable ones that we can keep. This week's Parsha teaches many valuable lessons with just one “appearance”.

Shabbat Shalom!

By: Riley Spitz (9th Grade)

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