Parshat ha Shavuah Verses – Vaeira

This is a parshah of Gd’s names.

ב  וַיְדַבֵּר אֱלֹהִים, אֶל-מֹשֶׁה; וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו, אֲנִי יְהוָה.

2 And God spoke unto Moses, and said unto him: ‘I am the LORD;
ג  וָאֵרָא, אֶל-אַבְרָהָם אֶל-יִצְחָק וְאֶל-יַעֲקֹב–בְּאֵל שַׁדָּי; וּשְׁמִי יְהוָה, לֹא נוֹדַעְתִּי לָהֶם. 3 and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name YHWH I made Me not known to them.

There, possibly, is more commentaries on these psukim than words I can say in one day. However, I want to draw your attention to this one:

R. Abba bar Memel: The Holy One said to Moses: Is it my name that you want to know?  I am called after My deeds.  Sometimes I am called El Shaddai, Tzevaot, Elohim, Adonai.  When I judge humanity I am called Elohim.  When I make war against the wicked I am called Tzevaot and when I give man a suspended sentence for his sins I am called El Shaddai; and when I have compassion on my world I am called Adonai.

(Shmot Rabbah 3:6)
Each of us has their own name for the Almighty, and each of these names is valid to us, if not to everyone. Praying is such a special, intimate way of communication, and yet it is also a public statement.

Moshe really had to become very public much against his will, and very personal at the same time. How many of us live with this inner contradiction, albeit on a much smaller scale?

ו  לָכֵן אֱמֹר לִבְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל, אֲנִי יְהוָה, וְהוֹצֵאתִי אֶתְכֶם מִתַּחַת סִבְלֹת מִצְרַיִם, וְהִצַּלְתִּי אֶתְכֶם מֵעֲבֹדָתָם; וְגָאַלְתִּי אֶתְכֶם בִּזְרוֹעַ נְטוּיָה, וּבִשְׁפָטִים גְּדֹלִים. 6 Wherefore say unto the children of Israel: I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm, and with great judgments;
ז  וְלָקַחְתִּי אֶתְכֶם לִי לְעָם, וְהָיִיתִי לָכֶם לֵאלֹהִים; וִידַעְתֶּם, כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם, הַמּוֹצִיא אֶתְכֶם, מִתַּחַת סִבְלוֹת מִצְרָיִם. 7 and I will take you to Me for a people, and I will be to you a God; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.
ח  וְהֵבֵאתִי אֶתְכֶם, אֶל-הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר נָשָׂאתִי אֶת-יָדִי, לָתֵת אֹתָהּ לְאַבְרָהָם לְיִצְחָק וּלְיַעֲקֹב; וְנָתַתִּי אֹתָהּ לָכֶם מוֹרָשָׁה, אֲנִי יְהוָה. 8 And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning which I lifted up My hand to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for a heritage: I am the LORD.’

With my amazing Partners-in-Totah teacher I have started to learn the book of Joshua – יְהוֹשֻׁעַ, and right in the first chapter it says:

ג  כָּל-מָקוֹם, אֲשֶׁר תִּדְרֹךְ כַּף-רַגְלְכֶם בּוֹ–לָכֶם נְתַתִּיו:  כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבַּרְתִּי, אֶל-מֹשֶׁה. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, to you have I given it, as I spoke unto Moses.

How timely are these words today! How much it shows the connection between the generations far gone, and the one we belong to. How clear we are shown that there is no greater ruler in the world, but the One who knows it all. We should not rely on people winning or losing great posts, however smart, they may be. We should not desist from working ourselves to bring a better future to our families, our loved ones, our people. Yet we should clearly see who is in charge.

Tune your ear to hear the small still voice
If you only try very hard, many times
Even you may succeed. So come closer.


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