hebrew
1)

Why did Hashem instruct Aharon to strike the water for the first two Makos?

1.

Rashi and Targum Yonasan: Because the water protected Moshe when his mother placed his casket in the river (See Sh'mos 2:4). Consequently, for him to strike it would have demonstrated a lack of gratitude.

2.

Moshav Zekenim (on 8:2): Aharon was Moshe's Shali'ach, so he performed Makos from the land. Moshe himself performed what came from the sky.

2)

What are the connotations of "u'va'Eitzim u'va'Avanim"?

1.

Rashi and Targum Yonasan: It means water that has been poured into wooden and stone vessels.

2.

Oznayim la'Torah (citing Midrash ha'Gadol): Water ctually oozed out of wood and stones. 1


1

Oznayim la'Torah: Because the Egyptians forced the Jewish slaves to place babies in the walls when they were short of bricks.

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