This week’s regular Torah portion or parsha is “Vayera” (Shemot/Exodus 6:2 through 9:35) and it not only continues the story of the life of Moses/Moshe but begins the first of the “Plagues of Egypt.”

And, again, much of the story is familiar, but it’s the details and PATTERNS that are not only fascinating, but vital to our understanding…especially if we expect that they may be about to repeat, one way or another.

First, the Erev Shabbat overview of the whole parsha:

The Sabbath Day teaching suggests that some of the same confusion people confront today concerning the pending judgment of the US, and the world, is probably more similar to what might have confronted people in ancient Egypt than we might expect. But the themes of this parsha help make that clear:

The One, True REAL Elohim – vs the fakes. Just some of the names have changed.

But NOT the One that really matters!

And just when along the path did people start to come to The Realization? Remember, when we read “Pharaoh’s heart was hardened,” that’s a poor translation. Because there are TWO separate words in the Hebrew.

Are people’s heart’s today “strong” and “courageous” – or just plain stubborn? It clearly makes a difference.

Maybe it even begs a question that helps to frame where we are now, in a sequence that will probably, eventually repeat:

Did Pharaoh have his own “fact checkers” for the ancient version of Twitter, to manage “disinformation” about just who was causing the problems?

EVENTUALLY, Yah “put a difference” between His people, and those that turned out to be “vessels…prepared for destruction.” Can we begin to see what that might look like?

“Vayera: Patterns — in Themes, Plagues, and Hearts”

The combined two-part podcast is here: