The Torah states that makas barad (hail) did not affect the wheat and spelt because כי אפילת הנה (for they ripen late). To explain the word afeilos, Rashi (Shemos 9:32) brings a medrash that says אפילת is derived from the word פלאות pla’os meaning wondrous miracle.

The Nesivos asks “What is the great wonder that the wheat and spelt were not destroyed? Indeed afeilos heina—they were still supple and were able to withstand the barrage of hail!” He explains that while it is true that they would not have been broken by the hail, but since the hail encased a fire, and fires broke out when the hail landed, the wheat and spelt should have been consumed in the widespread fires. So why were they not consumed? Because of pla’os — a wondrous miracle.

The Medrash tells us that the servitude to the Egyptians ended 6 months prior to this date, exactly before the time of planting these crops. Hence, these crops were planted by the Egyptians and not the Jews. Being that they were not a product of the physical labor of the Jews, Hakadosh Baruch Hu let the Egyptians benefit from the fruits of their own labor. In other words, Hashem made a miracle to show the Egyptians that they were being punished for abusing the Jews, but where there was no abuse, there was no punishment. This is indeed wondrous.

On pondering this Nesivos, I was bothered that in makas arbeh and many of the other plagues, the Torah tells us that the Jews did not suffer. So again the question is what was so unusual here in makas barad. I would like to suggest that to make a distinction between the good and the bad is not so impressive. But the exactitude shown within this punishment of the Egyptians is truly wondrous.

As we reflect on Yetzias Mitrayim, we are reminded how Hakadosh Baruch Hu is involved in our own lives on a granular level, and takes into account nuances of what we do on a nano-level.