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Beit Midrash Torah Portion and Tanach Va'era

Parasha Vaera

3100
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At a crucial point in the fateful struggle to liberate bnai yisrael from Egyptian bondage, Hashem tells Moshe that He was not known to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob by the tetragrammaton name (Ex. 6:3). In this passage and in the next four verses that follow, God reveals to Moshe His purpose in bringing Israel out of Egypt and into the promised land. But what is the significance of the different names by which God may appear and by which we may call upon Him?

In truth, each name refers to a different aspect or attribute of Hashem. According to Rashi, Hashem is here explaining to Moshe the religious significance of this entirely new period in Jewish history which is now beginning with the Exodus from Egypt. The Patriarchs experienced God primarily as a God (El Shaddai) who appears in visions and who makes long term promises which are not fulfilled in their lifetime. Now however, begins a new era of fulfillment, of keeping promises, of carrying out the terms of the Covenant. This is signified by His tetragrammaton name which denotes His attribute of "faithfulness" a God who can be "trusted to verify His words".

Rashi implies that one whose entire relationship with God is based solely on Divine promises but who has never witnessed the fulfillment of these promises is lacking in his religious maturity. For he has not experienced an essential aspect of God which His "faithfulness". How fortunate then were the generation of the Exodus and those who entered and settled the land! Not merely because they were now "free" or because they became "property owners", but because they had now experienced the "faithful" God, the God who fulfills His promises.

What then shall we say of our generation that has seen a most astounding and unambiguous fulfillment of the Prophetic promise: (Deut. 30:3) in the reality of a Jewish State in Eretz Yisrael populated by over five million Jews? For close to 2000 years our people lived on promises of a Return. Now that the era of fulfillment is well underway, shouldn’t every Jew alive today wish to be part of this spectacular revelation of God’s "faithfulness" by coming to live in Israel?

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This is a weekly column contributed by Aloh Naaleh an organization devoted to motivating Jews to make Aliya.
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