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2000-04-22 Shabbos Chol HaMoed Pesach by Rabbi Ze'ev Smason
Shabbos Chol HaMoed Pesach

Does the name "Art Linkletter" ring a bell with any of you? True confessions: I'm old enough -- although only barely old enough -- to remember a feature on his TV show that was titled, "Kids Say the Darndest Things." I came across some statements thats about the Torah that were written by children, a few of which I present to you in their unabridged, unchanged form.

Lot's wife was a pillar of salt by day, but a ball of fire by night.

The greatest miracle in the Bible is when Joshua told his son to stand still, and he obeyed him.

Solomon, one of David's sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.

Joshua fought the battle of Geritol

And finally: Moses led the Hebrews to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread, which is bread without any ingredients.

The second plague -- the plague of frogs -- also elicits a 'Biblical chuckle." The image of frogs leaping from every crack and crevice, lurking beneath every blanket and pillow, and happily sticking their green slimy feet into every batch of challah dough, seems quite amusing, doesn't it? The Medrash even says that frogs were croaking from within the Egyptians' intestinal tracts. "Ribbit-umph-excuse me!"

How could not help but laugh?

A deeper look, however, may compel us to adopt a more somber attitude regarding "frogs." A well-known Torah principle is that God always metes out punishment 'middah k' 'neged middah' - measure for measure, as the punishment in this world invariably fits the crime.

The 10 Plagues were no exception: What did the Egyptians do to deserve a plague of frogs? Although the Egyptians very much wanted to exploit their slave labor force, the Jewish people became a serious demographic problem for them. Why?