PARSHAS VA'ERA 5781
Divrei Torah from Shaya Gross z'l
[Editor’s note: As a memory of my beloved brother Shaya, I would like to
continue sending out his pearls of wisdom that he has shared with all of you in the past.
For some of you this may ring a bell and for others it may appear to be totally new. May
the learning of Shaya’s Divrei Torah inspire us to change our ways and thereby give an
Aliya to the neshama of our dear beloved Shaya whom we miss so much. A special
thank you to Aaron Friedman for always looking over the divrei torah.]
Rashi tells us that the plague of frogs actually started with just one frog, but the Egyptians
kept on hitting it, and every time they hit it, it would expel more frogs. This is a bit baffling.
After the first couple of times the Egyptians hit the frog, wouldn't they 'get the hint' that it’s
extremely counterproductive to keep hitting the frog[s]???
The Steipler Gaon provides us with a powerful answer for this question which is a message
that we can all relate to. He explains that yes, they knew that the effect would be terrible,
but they were so angry that they couldn't control themselves. This is the lesson of anger. If
you let anger get the better of you, it will control you and absolutely ruin your life. You will
see it happen, yet you will be unable to stop it.
We see this same idea in the Gemara in Avoda Zara. The Gemara says that in the future,
Hashem will allow the Goyim to fulfill the Mitzvah of Succah as a last chance to repent.
They will each make a Succah. Hashem will then bring a boiling hot sun, and they will all
kick their Succahs and leave. Thus, they will 'blow' their last chance to do Teshuva.
All the Goyim had to do was just leave the Succahs, as when it is boiling hot and very
uncomfortable, one is exempt from Succah! That one foolish kick in anger will cost them
Let us learn from these nations what NOT to do. Let us remind ourselves both before and
while we are getting angry that no good will come from it, and that it will have an extremely
detrimental effect on us and all of the people around us. Hopefully this will help us to
slowly but surely rid ourselves of this terrible trait, which will then enable us to live
healthier, happier, and meaningful lives.
Editor's note: I would like to add one brief thought to this beautiful dvar torah written by our
beloved Shaya. Perhaps one practical way to help us control ourselves when we get angry
is to count to ten. As Thomas Jefferson said "When angry, count to ten before you speak;
if very angry count to a hundred." Take a minute to breathe before immediately pouncing.
Anger catches us by surprise which can lead to rash actions that we may regret later. Let
us work on improving our anger and help change the world to be a better place.
Have a wonderful Shabbos!
Disclaimer: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author,
and not necessarily to that of Cong. Shomrei Mishmeres or any other group or individual.