The section with the discussion between Rabbis as to how many plagues there were really, always reminded me of an announcer reading the football scores. Band of Angels 1, Tottenham 2 That was until I heard about this Gr"a. Now it's ridiculously confusing, but if you chup it, then it's phenomenal. What are these Rabbis really discussing? There is a mishnah in Mikvaot 5:4, which tells us that there is a disagreement as to whether an inland sea counts as a mikvah or not. R’Eliezer holds they do, while R’Akiva holds they do not. There is also a pasuk in Habbakuk 3:8 – on the splitting of the Yam Suf – “Is your anger on the rivers your wrath on the seas” Everyone agrees that a river is a mikveh. So – R’ Eliezer holds that seas count as rivers, so the anger and wrath discussed in the pasuk are the same thing, therefore, there are only 4 categories, and only 200 plagues. But R’ Akiva holds that you have two terms for two different categories (anger and wrath), because seas and rivers are different, so he gets that fifth category which brings us up to 250! Tottenham win.

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