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The Alter Rebbe: Vaeira

“Take your staff and cast it down before Pharaoh – it will become a snake!” (Exodus 7:9) The snake was the symbol of Egypt. God wanted Pharaoh to understand that even the power of evil must draw its strength from a holy source. Hence, “Take your staff,” or “mateh,” which also means to turn or redirect, and let Aharon show that he has the power to turn strength to the snake, but at will, can turn the snake back into a dead piece of wood, that has no power of its own.

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