What’s in a name? A whole lot, apparently. In fact, one’s name is the very essence of that person; that’s why the center of the word "Neshama-soul" is shem, or name. One’s name defines his very soul; and so it is with Hashem, too.
G-d tells Moshe that He appeared to the Avot with the name Shaddai, rather than Hashem. And then, in the space of just 8 p’sukim, He refers to himself as Hashem four times:
- "I am Hashem"
- "Tell Bnei Yisrael that I am Hashem"
- "You should know that I am Hashem" and
- "I gave you Israel as a morasha; I am Hashem."
Wow, talk about overkill! Someone is really trying to tell us something – but what exactly is it?
The name Shaddai, says Midrash Raba, derives from di-enough. G-d oversaw the creation of the world and said, "Enough!" Let the seas stop covering the entire world and reveal the land; let the sun shine for just so long and no more, let vegetation grow but not overwhelm the earth.
He also said "Di-Enough" to the Avot and Imahot:
Avraham and Sara have waited a century for a child; Enough! Let Yitzchak be born!
Yitzchak has endured so much enmity between his sons Yakov and Esav; Enough! Let them reconcile (which they do, before Yitzchak dies).
Yakov has seen so much turmoil in his life; Enough! Let him enjoy some peace, which he does when reunited with Yosef and surrounded by all his family for the last 17 years in Egypt.
Yet at the same time that all these blessings are being given out, there is also a "flip-side" to Shaddai. Hashem says to the Avot, on a cosmic, collective level, "Yes, I promised each of you, in our first encounters, that I would give you Israel as a homeland. But I’ve done enough for the time being; I am not yet prepared to totally fulfill that great promise."
The fulfillment will have to wait for Moshe. Only then will Bnei Yisrael leave Egypt, establish themselves as a nation, receive the Torah, and enter the Land of Israel. That, says G-d, is what My name ‘Hashem’ means: He who keeps His promise, He who does not hold back and say ‘Enough’ when it comes to completing the destiny of Am Yisrael.
"Go, Moshe, and tell the people that, at long last, Hashem - and not Shaddai – is taking you home!"
Our generation has been given the cataclysmic z’chut to see Hashem in all His glory: The renaissance of Torah learning, the establishment of the State of Israel, the ingathering of the exiles, the reclamation of the soil, the stunning successes of our holy IDF soldiers in 7 wars.
Is it not time for every Jew to say, "Enough! I, too, must be a part of this dramatic, Divine miracle!"