“When Pharaoh speaks to you, saying: ‘Prove yourself with a miraculous sign,’ you should say to Aaron: ‘Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh- it will become a snake.”
When Moses began to perform the miracles before the Egyptians Yochana and Mamre said to him, “are you bringing straw to Afarayim (a place of abundant straw)?” In other words, “Are you bringing sorcery to Egypt, the land of sorcery?” Moses replied, “People says, ‘Carry vegetables to the vegetable market”
In this Talmudic passage, the word תבן (straw) alludes to תבונה (understanding) which is associated with repentance עפריים (Afarayim) is similar to עפר (earth). The Aramaic word for vegetables is ירקא corresponding to repentance. And the Aramaic word שקול (carry) is similar to משקל (balance) which forms part of the phrase תשובת המשקל (measure for measure repentance).
Thus, the Egyptians were asking Moses “are you trying to bring Torah understanding to the Jews who’s spiritual level is low and earthly?” Moses answered, “When people learn Torah, their speech in Torah learning illuminated the paths of repentance, so they are able to perform exact measure for measure repentance even if they are at a low spiritual level.
(Likutei Moharan I, 11:1)
The symbolism of the snake refers to a shadow of what happens in Numbers 21:9:
“And Moshe made a נחש of nechoshet, put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a nachash had bitten any man, when he beheld the nachash hanechoshet, then he lived”
Now the word נחש and the word משיח (Messiah) both hold the gematria value of 233. Showing they are bound concepts. This, we see Yeshua himself make note of this.
“And as Moshe lifted up the נחש in the wilderness, so it is necessary for there to be a hagbah (lifting up) of the בן האדם.”
These concepts are tied to the passage in the initial passage of the Torah.
“From then Yeshua began to proclaim, saying, L’Alter LiTeshuvah (Immediate Repentance ), for the Malchut HaShomayim has come near.”
“And teshuva for the selicha (forgiveness) of chattaim (sins) is to be preached bShem of Yeshua to all the Nations, beginning from Yerushalayim.”
Theological Insights from Rabbi Eved Banah the North American Rebbe of Ani Judaism