Parshas Vaeira Sweets and Treats
In this week’s Torah portion, Parshas Va’eira, Hashem responds to Moshe’s question from the last parsha. He speaks to Moshe using the “four expressions of redemption,” promising to take out the Jewish people to Israel from Egypt, release them from slavery, redeem them, and acquire them as His own chosen people at Mount Sinai. He will then bring them to Israel, the land Hashem promised to Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov, as their eternal heritage.
Moshe and Aharon repeatedly come before Pharaoh to demand freedom for the Jewish people in the name of G-d, but Pharaoh refuses. Aharon’s staff turns into a snake and swallows the magic sticks of the Egyptian sorcerers. When Pharaoh refuses to let the Jews go, Hashem sends the first seven of the ten plagues.
The waters of the Nile turn to blood and all of the fish die; swarms of frogs overrun the land; lice infest all men and beasts. Hordes of wild animals invade the cities; a pestilence kills the domestic animals; painful boils afflict the Egyptians. For the seventh plague, fire and ice combine to descend from the skies as hail. After each plague, “the heart of Pharaoh was hardened and he would not let the children of Israel go, as Hashem had said to Moshe.” All of the plagues afflict the Egyptians but not the Jewish people – Goshen is spared.
There are so many symbols in this week’s parsha! Candy hearts symbolize the hardened heart of Pharaoh. Gummy snakes symbolize the staff of Aharon that became and snake and ate the snakes of Pharaoh’s magicians. Candy fish symbolize the fish that were killed during the Plague of Blood, which can be represetned by red rock candy. Little green candy bunnies look enough like frogs to symbolize the Plague of Frogs. Animal crackers symbolize the Plagues of Wild Beasts and Pesilence. Dark colored boulder bites symbolize the Plague of Lice while red boulder bites symbolize the Plague of Boils. Atomic Fire Balls represent the Plague of Hail, in which the hail was a combination of ice and fire. What ideas to you have? Please share them in the comments section below!