Moshe delivered HaShem’s instructions to his brother, “Aharon, tomorrow morning go to the Nile. Stretch your hand over it and strike the river with your staff!”
The next morning, Aharon stood by the Nile, lifted his stick, and hit the water. Not only did the Nile turn to blood, but every lake, pool, puddle, and pond became blood. No body of water in Egypt was spared.
“I can’t believe it. I thought I filled my bathtub with water and now it’s blood!” cried out the Egyptian housewives.
The fish quickly died in the bloody waters, which caused an awful stench throughout the land. Ugggh! The Egyptians couldn’t stand to go near those awful waters, and of course, could not drink from it.
Remember when, 80 years earlier, baby Moshe was saved thanks to the waters of the Nile? His mother, Yocheved, desperately tried to save him from Paraoh’s decree to kill all male babies and placed him in a basket in the river. For this reason, HaShem commanded Aharon, not Moshe, to strike the river, both in the plague of blood and the upcoming plague of frogs. Moshe owed the Nile a debt of gratitude and could not bring harm to it.
The lesson is clear: If we need to show thanks to objects with no feelings, such as water, how much more so is it necessary to thank human beings for the good things they do for you… your parents, teachers, friends and don’t forget your bus driver! In Hebrew this display of appreciation is called Hakoras HaTov and it’s a big Mitzvah!
The first plague was Blood, but in Hebrew it’s דם, pronounced Dum. That was some Dumb move on Paraoh’s part to ignore Moshe’s warning! (Of course, you don’t pronounce the last letter b, in the word “dumb.”)
In fact, each time he ignored the upcoming plagues it showed how really dumb this mighty king of Egypt was!