Weekly Parashah

Parashah Vaera

27 Tevet 5778/January 13, 2018

By Nate Lesperance


This Week’s Readings:

Torah:  Exodus 6:2-9:35

Haftarah:  Ezekiel 28:25-29:21

B’rit Chadashah:  Mark 14:43-65


In the Bible, the Hebrews and G-d both have had a lot of trouble with people treating them with contempt. For those of you like me who don't know what the word contempt means. The definition of the word is:  1)The feeling with which a person regards anything considered mean, vile, or worthless; disdain; scorn or  2) The state of being despised; dishonor; disgrace. Contempt is a word that is generally used when there is a situation of disrespect.


The Torah Portion for this week is Exodus 6:2-9:35 which contains most of the ten plagues. By that, I mean all of the plagues except for the last three plagues. Although the main point of my drash has to do with contempt, the Torah connects to this theme by telling of how Pharaoh and the land of Egypt had contempt towards the Hebrews and G-d. The Egyptians, which includes Pharaoh, had much contempt towards Israel and showed this by treating them with disrespect, and contempt also for G-d by not letting the Hebrews go out and worship G-d. “Go, speak to Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that will he let Bnei-Yisrael go out of his land”(Exodus 6:11). In this verse G-d is telling Moses to go and speak to Pharaoh to tell him to let the Hebrews go. At first Pharaoh hardens his heart against G-d, but later on in the Scripture we will see that G-d will harden Pharaoh's heart.


This week's Haftarah portion starts with G-d’s foretelling of what He will do to other countries for how they treated G-d and the Hebrews. As the theme of my drash is contempt, it follows that the whole Haftarah portion is G-d telling of how He is going to strike down other countries because they have treated G-d and the Hebrews with contempt. “Therefore thus says Adonai Elohim: “Behold, I will bring a sword against you. I will cut off from you man and beast. The land of Egypt will become desolate and waste. Then they will know that I am Adonai” (Ezekiel 29:8-9). In this part G-d is saying how He is going to strike down Egypt so they will know who He is and not act against Him with contempt. But later on He says that He will also judge the other near countries.


In the B’rit Chadashah we see that Yeshua is taken away and arrested by people of high power in the temple. Although in the end of the B’rit Chadashah portion we see that the ruling Kohanim don't even have an excuse or a solid story against him (I mean c’mon if you’re gonna lie as a group at least try to have your stories line up). The only reason they want Yeshua dead is because they don't like him, they don’t like what he is teaching the people and because Yeshua is saying He is the Son of G-d. Pilate doesn't even think Yeshua should die, and the only reason he lets Yeshua die is because the people would rather have a man convicted of murder released than a person they just don't like. If you remember the second part of the definition of contempt you will see that the ruling Kohanim are treating Yeshua with the second part of the definition of contempt.


In the end, we see that many people have treated the Hebrews and even G-d with contempt. I think that one thing we can defiantly learn from this is to not treat anyone with contempt. Contempt is a bad thing that can make many situations bad for you especially since it is a sin in G-d’s eye. Overall if you have contempt against someone you should probably figure out how to get rid of it and that does not mean treating them with contempt; you read what happened to the Egyptians!  My challenge for you all today is this: “Do you have contempt towards someone in your life? If you do you should figure out how to resolve that contempt.”