Below is a collection of Parashat Vaera resources聽created by The Lookstein Center staff or contributed to the site by Jewish educators.

This is a growing collection. Check back soon or write to us at聽content@lookstein.org聽if you didn鈥檛 find what you鈥檙e looking for.聽

DISCUSSION AND REFLECTION QUESTIONS

Question #1: Do you think that someone who has a physical disability feels self-conscious? What can you do to make them feel more comfortable? God tells Moses to speak to Pharoah. But Moses explains that he has a speech impediment and therefore believes that Pharoah won鈥檛 listen to him.

Look inside the text (Shemot 6:12),

讜址讬职讚址讘旨值专 诪止砖讈侄謹讛 诇执驻职谞值讬 讬职讛讜指讛 诇值讗诪止专 讛值谉 讘旨职谞值讬 讬执砖讉职专指讗值诇 诇止讗 砖讈指诪职注讜旨 讗值诇址讬 讜职讗值讬讱职 讬执砖讈职诪指注值谞执讬 驻址专职注止讛 讜址讗植谞执讬 注植专址诇 砖讉职驻指转指讬执诐 – But Moses spoke to God, saying, 鈥淭he Israelites would not listen to me; how then should Pharaoh listen to me, a man with a speech impediment!鈥

Question #2: Many of the plagues sound like they are punishment for Pharaoh鈥檚, and Egypt鈥檚, mistreatment of the Jewish people. What sort of punishment is appropriate for someone who is a mass murderer? What about if it is someone who has denied the masses their civil rights, or embezzled members of his community to the tune of billions of dollars?

Question #3: The plagues apparently affected all Egyptians. (We know, for example, that the plague of the firstborn affected every Egyptian household without exception.) Is it possible that there were no good Egyptians? There has been much discussion over the past few years about a book called Hitler’s Willing Executioners, in which the author claims that hatred of Jews was so deeply embedded in German culture that it was easy for the masses of Germans to join in the Nazi campaign of extermination. In the last two years, there has been an alarming resurgence of European antisemitism. Can a culture of hate be undone?

LESSON PLANS AND ARTICLES

Parashat Va’era: The Hardening of Pharoh’s Heart – This lesson plan for middle school students analyzes different interpretations of the hardening of Pharaoh鈥檚 heart.