General Overview: In this week’s Parsha, Vaeira, Pharaoh refuses to allow the Israelites to leave Egypt, even after Aaron exhibits miraculous powers, transforming his staff into a serpent. The first seven plagues strike Egypt: Blood, Frogs, Lice, Wild Beasts, Pestilence, Boils, and Fiery Hail.
Aliya Summary: This week’s portion opens with G‑d’s response to Moshe (continuation from the end of last week’s Parsha). G‑d told Moshe that He revealed Himself to the Patriarchs and established with them a covenant to give them the land of Canaan. And now the time has arrived to fulfill His promises. G‑d told Moshe to tell the Israelites that He has heard their cries, and He will now deliver them from Egypt and bring them to the Promised Land. Moshe relayed the message, but their unbearable workload prevented them from accepting his words. G‑d then told Moshe to instruct Pharaoh to send the Israelites from his land. Moshe protested: “If the children of Israel did not listen to me, how then will Pharaoh listen to me? I have a speech impediment?” (G‑d’s answer is detailed in the Third Aliya.)