Unless otherwise noted, "This week's Parsha" comprises articles taken from contributors to the Chabad.org website. We show the original author's name here, so that proper attribution is given. For the sake of brevity, footnotes cited in the original author's writings are omitted from this website. If you need to see the citations, please refer to the original articles on the Chabad.org website.
Pharaoh and the Frog
In discussing the second of the Ten Plagues, the Midrash mentions that every creature plays a role in G‑d's master plan. If not for the frog, says the Midrash, how would the Almighty take retribution against Pharaoh?
Why does the Midrash single out the frog when there were nine additional plagues? The second plague was key because both Pharaoh and the frog shared a common appearance of apathy.
The Test of Leadership
Moses is instructed by G‑d to demand that Pharaoh release the Israelites from bondage. Moses is reluctant to assume the responsibility of being Israel's leader, and in humility asks, "Who am I to go to Pharaoh and to take Israel out of Egypt?" G‑d assures him, "I will be with you, and this is the sign that I sent you -- when you take the people out of Egypt, you will serve G‑d on this mountain" (Exodus 3:12).
In the cacophony of strident voices claiming to express the Divine will, each insisting it is the real standard-bearer of Judaism, and it alone embodies the essence of our faith, the ordinary Jew may understandably be confused. How can we differentiate religious leadership from misrepresentation of Judaism?
The Power of Feminine Beauty - And How to Protect It
G‑d created Adam and Eve unclothed, and they walked around the Garden of Eden . . . naked. If public nudity was fine with G‑d, why does the Torah tell us to be modest, to cover up, to subdue our natural allure? What changed?
It all started after Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Before, they were not aware of their nakedness; they even “engaged in intercourse before everyone’s eyes”! But once they ate from that tree, their perspective shifted. The whole universe shifted.