Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What was arov?


“Why did Gd bring the plague of Arov? The Egyptians told the Jews to bring bears and lions, in order to pain them [the Jews]. Therefore, Gd brought a mixture [taarovet] of beasts, as it is written, ‘And a great arov came.’ So said Rabbi Yehudah.

“Rabbi Nechemiah said: They were species of wasps and gnats.

“Rabbi Yehudah’s words appear to be correct. Regarding the frogs, it is written, ‘And they gathered the [dead] frogs in piles and piles,’ but regarding arov it is written, ‘And Gd did as Moshe said, and He removed the arov.’ The Egyptians received no benefit from the frogs, and so the frogs died and made Egypt smell, but they would have benefited from the hides of arov, and so none of them were left. Were the arov species of wasps and gnats, they would have died and been left to make Egypt smell.”

(Midrash Tanchuma Vaera 14)

Have a great day,

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