Torah Message from Rabbi Moldovan
Pharaoh's resistance to releasing the Jewish people leads to the famous 10 plagues. The first plague of blood was to be instituted by striking the Nile with the mystical staff of Moshe. Interestingly, Hashem tells Moshe to pass his staff to Aharon so that Aharon can hit the Nile in order to begin the plague. Rashi explains that Moshe was to show appreciation to the Nile that saved him as a baby when his mother sent him into the water from which he was saved. Hitting the Nile would show a lack of appreciation to the body of water that had helped him. The commentaries ask, granted showing appreciation is very important, but the water of a river is unfazed whether it garners appreciation or not. What was significant about Moshe not hitting the water? The commentaries explain that appreciation is not for the sake of the one who receives the appreciation. Rather, saying thank you is a positive trait in and of itself, regardless of who the thank you goes to. Moshe was instructed not to harm a lifeless body of water due to the good that he had received from the Nile. Appreciation was one of the great traits that led to Moshe Rabbeinu becoming the leader of the Jewish people.