Revealing Hashem in the world

The world must comprehend the 3 truths determined by G-d's actions in Egypt.

Rabbi Moshe Kempinski ,

Moshe Kempinski
Moshe Kempinski

Va’era Exodus 6:2–9:35

Hashem begins this Torah portion with the words

G-d spoke to Moshe, and He said to him, 'I am Hashem I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob with [the name] Almighty G-d, but [with] My name HASHEM, I did not become known to them.'“ (Exodus 6:2-3)

Those words are significant.

Firstly because it comes as a continuation of Hashem’s declaration to Moshe after the latter voices concerns about his mission. When the children of Israel are further burdened as a punishment for Moshe’s demands to let them go to serve Hashem, we hear Moshe’s painful cry to Hashem

So Moshe returned to Hashem and said, 'Hashem! Why have You harmed this people? Why have You sent me? Since I have come to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has harmed this people, and You have not saved Your people.'" (Exodus 5:22-23)

Hashem responds with, "Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh, for with a mighty hand he will send them out, and with a mighty hand he will drive them out of his land" (ibid 6:1)

It is in continuation of that declaration that Hashem declares the following

"G-d spoke to Moshe, and He said to him, 'I am Hashem'” (ibid 6:3)

That is the revelation that Hashem wants to have revealed in the world, "I am Hashem”!

"So shall you say to the children of Israel, 'Hashem the G-d of your forefathers, the G-d of Abraham, the G-d of Isaac, and the G-d of Jacob, has sent me to you.' This is My name forever, and this is how I should be mentioned in every generation."(ibid 3:15)

Furthermore when Pharaoh is confronted with Moshe’s demands "So said Hashem the G-d of Israel, 'Send out My people, and let them sacrifice to Me in the desert.'”, the seemingly all powerful ruler of Egypt and the world of that time responds with the words;

"Who is Hashem that I should heed His voice to let Israel out? I do not know Hashem, neither will I let Israel out.”(Exodus 5:2)

The previous Pharaoh and probably all those that came before and after him, knew that there was a transcendent G-d in the heavens. We see that as he declares of Joseph, "Will we find [anyone] like this, a man in whom there is the spirit of G-d?"(Genesis 41:38).

Yet that was not a Deity that was imminently involved with the world.

And then "A new king arose over Egypt, who did not know about Joseph." (Exodus 1:8). He did not remember the Joseph in whom there was “the spirit of G-d”.

The new Pharaoh believed that the world and these Hebrew people, in particular, needed to be re-taught their true place and the power of “the Pharaoh” in the world.

A world in which there is no Hashem intimately involved in the affairs of man and creation.

As a result, G-d then begins the series of supernatural events that are meant to impact Pharaoh and as a result, change Egypt. More importantly these will be events that are intended to be an eternal lesson for the whole world.

Hashem declares,”Because this time, I am sending all My plagues into your heart and into your servants and into your people, in order that you know that there is none like Me in the entire earth."(Ibid 9:14)

Our sages explain that the plagues can be understood as three distinct groupings with three distinct lessons to be conveyed. As we read in the Passover Haggadah “Rabbi Yehuda used to abbreviate them: ‘Detzakh Adash Be’achav’ (a mnemonic made up of the first letters of each of the ten plagues).”

These lessons are clearly enunciated in each the declaration related to the plagues of each of the three groupings.

The first group intending to display “By this shall you know that I am G-d” (ibid 7:17).

Pharaoh may have tried to use his magic to prove equality with G-d but these plagues destroy that attempt.

The second group is meant to convey “in order that you will know that I am G-d in the midst of the land” (ibid 8:18).

Not only is G-d supreme but He is present in relationship with all that goes on in the land.

The third group declares “in order that you will know that there is none like Me in all the land."( ibid 9:14).

There is no power in this reality that can contend with the power of Hashem. When the reigning world powers understand those three concepts then G-d’s plan can move forward.

This remains true, whether the ruling world power is Egypt, Babylon, Rome or the United States. The world must comprehend the three truths determined by G-ds’ actions in ancient Egypt. Yet this ultimate awareness must come out of self-realization and not by coercion.

We are living in a time wherein G-d’s hand is clearly visible. We are seeing Hashem stirring the world in ways the world has not seen for thousands of years. All this Divine intervention and spiritual stirring is meant for one purpose.

That is to get mankind off the fence. It is to help them to understand that the mastery of the world is not in the hands of Presidents Kings and Pharaohs, but rather they “shall know that I am Hashem “(Exodus 14:4).

It is then, at that time , that Hashem shall become Ruler over all the earth; on that day shall Hashem be one, and His name one.” ( Zechariah 14:9)

LeRefuat Yehudit bat Golda Yocheved