Why Blood?

In Shmot Raba 9:8 the following question is asked: “Why were the waters first transformed into blood? The answer: Pharaoh and the Egyptians worshiped the Nile. God said “I will strike first his god and then his nation!”

Mishnat R. Eliezer 19 asks the same question, but has a very different answer: God brought upon the Egyptians the plague of blood because they threw the children of the Israelites into the river as it says “every male child shall be cast into the river…” Therefore he punished them through the waters of the Nile.

Lekach Tov adds that it is because the Egyptians spilled the blood of the Israelites like water.

Nechama Leibowitz points out that while Mishnat R. Eliezer and Lekach Tov interpret the plagues as a punishment, measure for measure, Shmot Raba emphasizes the theological aspect, through the plagues they will begin to recognize the true God.

Last Friday, two off duty Israeli soldiers, Ahikam Amihai z’l and David Rubin z’l were killed while hiking near Kiryat Arba. We can’t sit idly by and let this happen. Jewish blood is not cheap!

Just as our enemies in Egypt were punished measure for measure, so too should our enemies be punished today.

Let’s hope and pray that all of the nations of the world will recognize God as well as value human life.