Dvar Torah Parshat VaEra 5765
Hashem told Moshe to tell Aharon to stretch out his staff over the waters of the
Nile and all other sources of water and they will turn to blood. Rashi deals with the question of why Aharon brought this plague upon Egypt and not Moshe himself. Rashi says: LEFI SHEHEGIN HAYE’OR AL MOSHE, “because the river had protected Moshe when he was cast into it…”Ex. 7,19) The same is true with the plague of frogs and of lice. The frogs came from the river and the lice from the dust that aided Moshe to hide the Egyptian when he smote him. This is an important principle in Judaism known as HAKARAT HATOV, appreciation for the good someone does for you. What is especially noteworthy here is that this principle applies not only to other humans but also to inanimate objects. The water and the dust could not know the difference if Moshe or Aharon performed the action causing the plague. What is important is that Moshe and Aharon knew the difference. Everything is the creation of Hashem and we have to treat it as such with respect. We teach in our religion that we should have respect for Sefarim. There are laws as to which Sefarim may be placed on others depending on how important they are. We are taught not to leave Sefarim open when we are finished using them. We have myriads of laws on how to treat a Sefer Torah and a Synagogue, though they do not know the difference. Of course, this carries over to the great concept of protecting the environment. Everything is Hashem’s creation and deserves our deep appreciation. It is essential to note, if we learn to treat inanimate objects with respect, we will get to certainly show greater reverence to other people.