This week’s parsha, Vayera, the second one of Sefer Shemot, talks about Moshe and Aharon’s encounters with Pharaoh, as well as seven of the ten plagues.
Middah k'neged middah, which is the Hebrew way of saying “action for action”, was highly involved in all of it. This basically means that Hashem made each plague in accordance with the actions that the Egyptians did, as a kind of payback to bring balance and justice.
For example, the first plague of the Nile River turning into blood represented all of the blood that the Jews shed because of the Egyptians.
The Egyptians had to pay the Jews money to be able to drink water. This made up for a part of the money that they did not pay the Jews as they were unpaid slaves.
The lesson that can be learned from this is that what we do, good or bad, can come back to us. The plagues and the kind of ‘karma’ that can be seen in this parsha should also help us do teshuva and spiritually grow.
This is just one of many examples that shows how just and fair Hashem is to all of us. We too should try to transform the challenges we face into opportunities that we can learn and grow from in the future.
By: Tamar Van Dam (9th)