> This week we read Parshas Vaaira, where the first three plagues befall the Egyptians. The second plague is the plague of frogs. When this plague occurred, the Torah tells us ( 8:2 ) Vataal Hatzefardaiyah – and the frog came up (from the Nile). As the well known song goes, we know that there were many, many frogs all over Egypt at the time that the plague came. Why does the Torah refer to them as the frog in the singular? The Midrash tells us that when the plague first came, it came only as one singular, large frog. The Egyptians who saw it were very upset about it, and began to hit it. As they hit it, many frogs started jumping out from this large frog. This got the Egyptians even more upset, so they hit it more. The more they would hit it, the more frogs would emerge, and the more they would get angry and hit it more.
The obvious question is, if the Egyptians saw that when they hit it, it just made the situation worse, why did they keep on hitting it? Wouldn’t it have made more sense just to leave it alone?
This, the Steipler Gaon points out, teaches us the lesson of patience, and the terrible effects of anger. When a person acts out of anger, he or she doesn’t think rationally. The things we say or do out of anger can cause irreparable damage. When the Egyptians hit the frog they were destroying themselves, but they still hit it. When we do react to something that was said or done, we must first pause, and think. Hopefully we can then say or do things that are correct, that we won’t regret, and that will cause only peace and harmony.
Wishing you and your family a great Shabbos and happy Rosh Chodesh!!!
Rabbi Moshe Travitsky