Three Crucial Lessons

By Rabbi Ari Kayser


Rabbi Shlomo Ephraim Luntschitz (1550-1619), known by his magnum opus, Kli Yakar, explains that the mnemonic teaches us that ten plagues are divided into three categories, and each set of plagues came to teach Pharaoh one principle.

The first set - Blood, Frogs and Lice - were there to teach Pharaoh about the existence of Hashem. The first set of plagues thus begins with the verse “With this you shall know that I am Hashem” (Exodus 7:17). 

The second set - Wild Beasts, Pestilence and Boils - were to teach Pharaoh that Hashem is intricately involved in the world and the lives of each individual. This set of plagues differentiates between the oppressed Israelites and the Egyptian oppressors (Exodus 8:18), to show that Hashem in fact does involve Himself in the lives of people on Earth. He acts not only on a country as a whole, but distinguishes communities and individuals. 

The third set Hail, Locusts, Darkness, Death of the Firstborn, was there to teach Hashem’s omnipotence. Pharaoh believed there was more than one power, therefore this set of plagues states “In order that you may know that there is none like Me in all the world” (Exodus 9:14). 

To believe in God is to believe in the possibility that things can be different to how they are today. 

To believe that God cares about everyone and everything is to believe that everyone and everything is here for a purpose. Each of us can make a positive difference in the world. 

To believe that there is none but God means that there is no moment in our lives that cannot be deeply meaningful and infinitely significant.



- April 6th 2017

More in this series

Korech - The Taste of Harmony

Shulchan Orech - When Eating Becomes a Song of Praise

Hallel - The Song and the Echocardiogram

Locked in the Prison of Freedom

"And It Happened At Midnight" Opening Our Eyes

Karpas - From Exile to Redemption

Ha Lachma Anya - The Bread of Affliction

Ma Nishtana - The Four Questions

Skeletons in the Closet

Vehi She'amda - The Promise

Three Crucial Lessons

Dayeinu - Spreading the Love

In Every Generation...The Power of Responsibility

Matzah - The Mystery of the Matzah

Related resources

Responsibility - The Impossible Dream

By- Rabbi Eli Birnbaum

Veyachi: The Power of Positivity

By- Rabbi Dovid Lichtig

I Closed My Eyes….

By- Rabbi Eli Birnbaum

Do Not Disturb

By- Rebbetzin Shalvie Friedman

Vayishlach – Your Money or Your Life?

By- Rabbi Moshe Friedman (Rav Mo)

An Article on Gratitude

By- Rebbetzin Adina Strom

Vayera: Existence, Non-Existence and the Love of Justice

By- Rabbi Daniel Rowe

Four More Years! Make “US” Great Again

By- Rabbi Gideon Goldwater

Noach: Is Building an Ark Enough?

By- Rabbi Daniel Rowe

Are YOU relevant in a post-COVID world?

By- Steve Herz

Spirituality in the Postmodern World

By- Rabbi Dovid Lichtig

A Vision of Leadership

By- Shira Druion

The Fourteen Step Journey

By- Rabbi Daniel Rowe

Winners and Losers of the Israel-UAE Peace Agreement

By- Aish UK

Journey through Despair

By- Rabbi Daniel Rowe

An Exclusive Interview with Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

By- Rabbi Ari Kayser

The Sound of Music

By- Rabbi Ari Kayser

Trial by Twitter

By- Rabbi Eli Birnbaum

Exploring Rosh Hashana

By- Rabbi Daniel Rowe

What Exactly Gets Weighed on Rosh Hashanah?

By- Rabbi Daniel Rowe

Copyright © Aish UK