Parshat Va’eira – וארא

etz-hayimweb02mixed media (acrylics, painted rings & marbles) on canvas 70 x 97 cm

The Ten Plagues

The ten plagues can be interpreted according
to the classical Ten Sefirot model in reverse.
Seven in this Parsha from Malchut to Chesed
(the modalities of the emotions)
Three in following Parsha from Bina to Keter.
(the modalities of the intellect and beyond)

The Plagues come to attack and rectify
the bad and evil energies trapped
in the Ten Sefirot of Impurity
by Pharoah (in Hebrew) פרעה
whose letters can spell הערף
“the back of the neck”
and certainly apply to our own
יצר הרע or evil inclinations,
which is why we are called
“a stiff-necked people”
כִּי עַם קְשֵׁה עֹרֶף אַתָּה
(Exodus 33:3)
still dominated by the
mind sets and mental slavery
of Mitzrayim and the Galut.

The First Plague – Blood – דָם – Malchut

bloodairbrushed acrylics on canvas 30″ x 40″ (76 x 102 cm)

The belief that Nature (especially the Nile River)
can be controlled and “engineered”
embodied the source of the Egyptian
arrogant confidence and security
and was therefore deified
as a power in and of itself
and revered as the very source of life.
The bloody “slaughter” of this concept
opened up the pagan mind
to the presence of a Higher Master.

The Second Plague – Frogs – צְפַרְדֵעַ – Yesod

frogsairbrushed acrylics on canvas (44 x 89 cm)

The plague of the Frogs attempted to rectify
the fallen sephira of Yesod caused by the
the debauched habits of the Egyptians.
The frogs’ cold slimy bodies covered every inch
of the land and entered their houses
and even the bedrooms,
cooling off their lust and sexual ardour
which was their raison d’etre.

The Third Plague – Lice – כִּנִים – Hod (Acknowledge)

LICEmixed materials on canvas (102 x 102 cm)

When the plague of the dust
turning into lice occurred,
all of the magicians acknowledged
that it was the “Finger of G-d”
אצבע אלו-הים
since regular magic can not affect
such small creatures,
whereas Divine Providence
is in every aspect of creation.
The acknowledgement of God’s mastery
is the beginning of spiritual service
and should induce a positive humility
that even if we are like dust before Him,
we are still with Him .
With the ego-deflated Egyptians
the dust turned into lice
causing a deep depression,
a pseudo humility which sucks out
a person’s blood, depriving him
of his vitality and energy-flow.

The additional FOUR PLAGUES in the Parsha
may be reviewed at

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About the Author
Dov Lederberg is engaged in the converging vectors of art and science, but receives added inspiration from Kabbalah teachings & meditation and tries to create visual forms (in paintings on canvas but also video art) conducive to mystical experience and self-transformation. 
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