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Daily Aliya for Vaeira, Shishi (6th Aliya)

Aliya Summary: The mixture of wild beasts descended upon Egypt, destroying the entire land with the exception of Goshen. Pharaoh called Moshe and Aaron and offered to allow the Israelites freedom to serve G‑d whilst still in Egypt. When Moshe rejected this offer, Pharaoh capitulated and offered to release the Israelites if only the plague came to an end. Moshe prayed, the plague ended, and Pharaoh reneged on his promise again. Plague Five: all the Egyptians’ cattle suddenly died; none of the Israelites’ animals were affected. Plague Six: Moshe and Aaron took handfuls of furnace soot and threw them heavenward. The soot descended, covered the entire Egypt, infecting all its inhabitants with painful boils. G‑d sent Moshe to Pharaoh with a message: Just as G‑d wiped out all the Egyptian cattle, He could have easily slain Pharaoh and all his people too. “But, for this [reason] I have allowed you to survive, in order to show you My strength and to declare My name all over the earth!”

In warning about hail, G-d says (through Moshe) that this time, I will send ALL my plagues… The Vilna Ga’on explains that G-d uses three main weapons, so to speak, to punish those who violate His commands: Fire, Water, and Wind. For example, to destroy the Generation of the Flood, G-d used Water. To disperse Dor HaP’laga, He used Wind, and to destroy S’dom, His main weapon was Fire. The plague of Blood, for example, used Water. Hail consisted of the whole arsenal – the Hail itself was Water, it had Fire in it, and the Hail was accompanied by strong Wind (the Kolot mentioned in 9:23). Definitely an escalation of G-d’s display of might.