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Rav Hirsch: Vaeira IV

Dever – Plague: “Then God said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘Thus says God, the Lord of the Ivrim, Let my people go so that they may serve Me.” (Exodus 9:1)

This is the second Avdut plague – the smashing of the Egyptian’s sense of mastery from having slaves.

Pharaoh had considered Israel as his property, thought that as they were strangers, they were legally in his power.

Accordingly here, “The Lord of the Ivrim,” and “send My People,” even if they are aliens in your land, they are My property, and they have Me to defend them, in Me they have a country, and as My people they cannot lose their human rights.

That is why the calamity was to affect primarily Pharaoh’s property; he is to be shown that even what is really his rightful property has only its existence by grace of God, and that the property of Pharaoh’s slaves remains ensured by God.

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