Vaeira. GENESIS Bereishit Noach Lech Lecha Vayeira Chayei Sarah Toldot Vayeitzei Vayishlach Vayeishev Mikeitz Vayigash Vayechi. EXODUS Shemot 14 אראו

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1 GENESIS Bereishit Noach Lech Lecha Vayeira Chayei Sarah Toldot Vayeitzei Vayishlach Vayeishev Mikeitz Vayigash Vayechi EXODUS Shemot Vaeira Bo Beshalach Yitro Mishpatim Terumah Tetzaveh Tisa Vayakheil Pekudei LEVITICUS Vayikra Tzav Shemini Tazria Metzora Acharei Mot Kedoshim Emor Behar Bechukotai NUMBERS Bemidbar Naso Beha alotecha Shelach Korach Chukat Balak Pinchas Matot Masei DEUTERONOMY Devarim Va etchanan Eikev Re eh Shoftim Teitzei Tavo Netzavim Vayeilech Ha azinu Vezot Habrachah 14 אראו

2 ו א ר א 14 Vaeira Overview P arashat Vaeira encompasses the first seven of the ten plagues, the cataclysms God utilized to demonstrate to the Jews, the Egyptians, and the whole world that He is the sole master over creation and all its forces. In this context, the term Vaeira ( And I appeared ) is quite applicable to the content of the parashah: God comes out of hiding, as it were, and manifests His supernatural, miraculous power before all humanity. However, let us recall that the opening words of this parashah are part of God s answer to Moses incriminating question at the end of the previous parashah: O God, why have You mistreated this people? Although we have seen that, in the larger perspective, Moses did not question God s justice with these words, their contextual meaning is that he did. In this context, the parashah s opening words are God s rebuke to Moses; God takes Moses to task for questioning His justice. This is certainly interesting, but it must also be relevant; the Torah would not have recorded an incident that apparently reflects so disparagingly on Moses unless there was some lesson for us in it. That lesson emerges when we consider the background of Moses question. Moses was raised in the home of Amram, the most illustrious Jew in his generation, the eldest son of Kehot, the son of Levi, whose tribe selflessly devoted itself to preserving the teachings and traditions the nation received from the patriarchs. Thus, Moses was certainly wellschooled in his youth regarding the patriarchs and matriarchs and their devoted, unquestioning faith in God, which they retained even when that faith had been severely tested. But he also knew that God is supposed to be kind and merciful, that the Jews are His chosen people, and that their unbearable suffering had exceeded any rational justification. He therefore candidly cried out, screamed, and pleaded: O God, why have You mistreated this people?! The fact that God immortalized this outcry by recording it in the Torah implies that Moses mistake was not complaining against God per se, but rather something else. God tells Moses what that missing something else was by beginning His rebuke with the words: I am God, and I appeared, or literally, and I was seen. Of course, it is impossible to see God, for God has no physical form that can be captured by our sense of sight. But by couching His revelation in these terms, God is saying that it is possible to be as certain of His reality as we are certain about what we have seen with our own eyes. Seeing something makes a deep impression on us; we trust the truth of what we see 36

3 Overview of Vaeira implicitly. For this reason, someone who witnesses an incident that is later brought to court cannot serve as a judge for that case. His memory of what he saw renders him impervious to the arguments of the litigants, which cannot sway his version of the events. 1 (In contrast, when we simply hear about something from someone else, a third party can contest the veracity of what we heard and even succeed in convincing us otherwise.) Thus, God told Moses: Of course you believe in Me. You have absorbed the teachings of your family and do not doubt Me. But you must nurture your faith further, until it becomes so concrete that you virtually see Me in creation that your are so sure of My reality that nothing can sway your conviction of it. Then, you will not be troubled by the contradiction between your faith and what your intellect tells you. Yes, God wants us to use our rational intellect to relate to the world and to Him, and when this intellect tells us that something seems amiss in the way God is running the world, we must not suppress the truth as we see it; we must shout at God: Why have You mistreated this people?! Why do You allow us to suffer? Are we not your chosen people, your firstborn son? Where is your compassion? Where is your justice?! But at the same time, these questions cannot and must not assault in the slightest our absolute and unshakable faith in God s reality and goodness. More to the point, they must not interfere in the slightest with our business of fulfilling all our obligations in terms of God s will for us and our mission on earth. Our impassioned, anguished cry and the accusations we hurl at God must coexist with our enthusiastic alacrity in doing His will and our profound gratitude for the opportunity to perform it. It is thus significant that this parashah, throughout which the Jewish people are immersed in the depths of the Egyptian exile, is entitled Vaeira I was seen. The lesson we are to take from it is that we must simultaneously stubbornly refuse to reconcile ourselves to remaining even one more minute in exile, while at the same time stubbornly refusing to let the fact that we are in exile in the meantime interfere with what we have to accomplish right now. From where, then, are we to draw the power to believe in God so thoroughly that we virtually see Him, even in the darkest moments of exile? God answers this question in His following words: I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The patriarchs possessed this unshakable faith, and as their progeny, we inherit it directly from them. According to the Torah s laws of inheritance, the inheritor need not possess any particular or special qualities in order to inherit. He inherits fully and completely just by virtue of being an inheritor. Our implicit and infinite faith in God is our inheritance to claim. All we must do is nurture it shepherd faith 2 and we, too, will virtually see God. This faith will enable us to live out the final moments of our exile yearning for and demanding its end while maximizing our use of the remaining time. In this merit, we will witness the fulfillment of God s promise: The glory of God will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together, 3 with the final Redemption ushered in by the Messiah Rosh HaShanah 26a. 2. Psalms 37:3. 3. Isaiah 40:5. 4. Hitva aduyot 5743, vol. 2, pp

4 וארא FIRST READING ONKELOS 6:2 ו י ד ב ר א לה ים א ל מ ש ה ו י אמ ר א ל יו א נ י י הו ה: 3 ו א ר א א ל א ב ר ה ם א ל י צ ח ק ו א ל י ע ק ב ב א ל ש ד י ו ש מ י י הו ה ל א נ וד ע ת י ל ה ם: 2 ו י ד ב ר א ל ה ים א ל מ ש ה. ד ב ר א ת ו מ ש פ ט, ע ל ש ה ק ש ה ל ד ב ר ו לו מ ר: "ל מ ה ה ר ע ת ה ל ע ם ה ז ה" : 1 ו י אמ ר א ל יו א נ י ה'. נ א מ ן ל ש ל ם ש כ ר טו ב ל מ ת ה ל כ ים ל פ נ י. ו ל א ל ח נ ם ש ל ח ת יך, כ י א ם ל ק י ם ד ב ר י ש ד ב ר ת י ל א בו ת ה ר אש ו נ ים. ו ב ל ש ו ן ה ז ה מ צ ינו ש הו א נ ד ר ש ב כ מ ה מ קו מו ת: "א נ י ה'" נ א מ ן ל ה פ ר ע, כ ש הו א א מו ר א צ ל ע נ ש, כ גו ן: "ו ח ל ל ת א ת ש ם א ל ה יך, א נ י 6:2 ו מ ל יל י י ע ם מ ש ה ו א מ ר ל ה א נ א י י : 3 ו א ת ג ל ית י ל א ב ר ה ם ל י צ ח ק ו ל י ע ק ב ב א ל ש ד י ו ש מ י י י ל א או ד ע ית ל הו ן: ה'". 2 ו כ ש הו א א מו ר א צ ל ק י ו ם מ צ ו ת, כ גו ן : "ו ש מ ר ת ם מ צ ו ת י ו ע ש ית ם א ת ם, א נ י ה'" 3 נ א מ ן ל ת ן ש כ ר: 3 ו א ר א. א ל ה א בו ת: ב א ל ש ד י. ה ב ט ח ת ים ה ב ט חו ת, ו ב כ ל ן א מ ר ת י ל ה ם "א נ י א ל ש ד י": ו ש מ י ה' ל א נו ד ע ת י ל ה ם. ל א הו ד ע ת י א ין כ ת יב כ אן, א ל א "ל א נו ד ע ת י" ל א נ כ ר ת י ל ה ם ב מ ד ת א מ ת ו ת ש ל י, ש ע ל יה נ ק ר א ש מ י "ה'" נ א מ ן ל א מ ת ד ב ר י, ש ה ר י ה ב ט ח ת ים ו ל א ק י מ ת י: In this context, God s answer to Moses was: I had to subject them to the exile because I want them to rise to the level of Divine consciousness of the Name Havayah. In order for them to want this, I had to first show them what life is like without it. 11 Even though God created the world with the Name Havayah as evidenced by the verse, By the word of God the heavens were made 12 this Name was hidden within the Name Elokim, which is the only Name used in the account of creation. Similarly, although the Name Havayah was revealed to the patriarchs, it was still garbed in the Name Elokim. Overall, God revealed Himself in the patriarchal age as the God of nature. Here, however, God [Elokim] spoke to Moses and said to him: I am God. The Name Elokim, so to speak, declared openly that it, too, is really the Name Havayah. Nature admitted that there is no such thing as nature, that the world does not run on automatic pilot. God Himself, as He transcends nature, is the sole force in reality; even what appears to be nature is simply His power choosing to manifest itself through nature. In this sense, God s purpose in giving the Torah was to bring us to the awareness that the Name Elokim is one with the Name Havayah I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob: God chides Moses: Even though I did not fulfill My promises to the patriarchs, they did not complain. You, however, do complain. We explained above that Moses complained because his relationship with God was chiefly intellectual, whereas the patriarchs relationship with God was chiefly emotional. Here, God responds to Moses complaint by saying that the redemption from Egypt will reveal God s transcendence. This implies that the natural mutual exclusivity of intellect and emotions will RASHI 1. שמות ה, כב. 2. ויקרא יט, יב. 3. ויקרא כב, לא. be overridden, making it possible for someone who is predominantly intellectual such as Moses to internalize the advantages of emotionality, as well. This new reality will have two implications for Moses: 1. God s behavior will no longer challenge Moses faith in Him, and therefore he will not question it. As we will see, this super-rational relationship with God is a fundamental aspect of the bond forged between God and the Jewish people through the Torah. 2. Moses will develop a greater appreciation for applying the insights and understanding gleaned from intellectual inquiry to the real world. The nature of intellectual inquiry is such that it absorbs us in what we are thinking about, removing us somewhat from reality. We become less sensitive to other people s needs and less concerned with concretizing our ideals. By integrating the advantages of emotionality, Moses will overcome this drawback of intellectualism. Inasmuch as the purpose of the Torah is to bring Divine consciousness down to earth, this concern with the real world is also a fundamental aspect of the bond forged between God and the Jewish people through the Torah. These lessons apply to us, as well. Those of us who are of a more intellectual bent must integrate the patriarchs emotional surrender to God, taking care that our intellectualism not distract us from the needs of others or the exigencies of reality. On the other hand, those of us who are of a more emotional bent must try to emulate the intellectualism of Moses, setting aside daily time to study even the most abstract and seemingly irrelevant aspects of the Torah. Just as this inter-inclusion of intellect and emotion set the stage for the exodus from Egypt, so will it hasten the coming Redemption Torah Or 50bc; Sefer HaMa amarim 5655, pp ; Sefer HaMa amarim 5712, pp. 150, 154; Ma amarei Admor HaZaken, Parashiot, vol. 1, pp. 241 ff; Addenda to Ma amarei Admor HaZaken, Parashiot (ed. 5749), pp. 26 ff. 12. Psalms 33: Sefer HaMa amarim 5738, pp ; Sefer HaMa amarim 5669, pp. 133 ff; Torah Or 56c. 14. Likutei Sichot, vol. 3, pp

5 Exodus 6:2-3 VAEIRA God Rebukes Moses, continued 6:2 God rebuked 1 Moses for having asked him why have You mistreated this people? 2 by saying to him: I am God; this is My proper Name, which indicates that I can be relied upon to reward those faithful to Me. 3 Yet, I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob only as El Shadai [ God Almighty ], which is just an appellation indicating My omnipotence, when I promised them the Land of Israel. 3 Since I did not fulfill these promises in their lifetimes, I was not manifest to them by My Name God, which indicates My trustworthiness, even though they were aware of this Name. 2 I am God: This statement is God s preface to His announcement that He is about to redeem His people. It informs us that the reason He exiled us to Egypt was in order to bring us to the level of Divine consciousness signified by the Name Havayah. The Name Havayah connotes God s trustworthiness because it indicates His transcendence, i.e., that He is not limited by the laws of the world He created. In order to make us fully aware of His transcendence, God had to put us in a context of seemingly inescapable limitation and then remove us from it. Egypt was the perfect venue for this demonstration as we have seen, its very name means limitation. Even though the forefathers reached sublime levels of Divine consciousness, they did not experience God s absolute transcendence. God therefore contrasts His revelation to them with the revelation the Jewish people are now ripe to experience by virtue of having endured slavery to Egypt that is, slavery to limitation. This preface is thus God s response to the complaint Moses had just voiced: Why have you mistreated this people? The exile and redemption from Egypt are a lesson in life that the Jewish people had to learn in order to become God s nation, and it is a lesson we must all internalize if we are ever to rise above the enervating routine and vacuity of mundane life. Our personal redemption is not complete until we have reached the transcendence implied by the Name Havayah, that is to say, until all that we are and do is permeated by consummate Divine consciousness that absorbs us totally into His essence. 2 On another level, the exile was necessary in order to make the people desire freedom. Specifically, their subjugation to the nature-worshipping Egyptians was necessary in order to make them desire the freedom from this limited consciousness that is available only through the Torah. [2] I am God: On yet a deeper level, in order for a new level of Divinity to be revealed, the previous level of Divine revelation must be withdrawn; otherwise it will interfere with the new revelation. Therefore, before the revelation embodied in the Giving of the Torah could take place, the Godliness that permeated the world during the patriarchal age had to be withdrawn, and this withdrawal of Divine beneficence resulted in the Egyptian exile. Furthermore, the greater the upcoming revelation, the greater must be the withdrawal of Divinity that precedes it. Because the Divine revelation that accompanied the Giving of the Torah was so great, the Egyptian exile had to last for a relatively long time. By the same token, the present exile has lasted so long because the Divine revelations that are to accompany the messianic redemption will be greater than any the world has yet seen. 5 INNER DIMENSIONS According to the Midrash, 6 Moses said to God: The generation of the dispersion deserved to be punished because they rebelled against You. But this generation has not rebelled against you, so why do you subject them to such oppression? According to Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, 7 God answered: Indeed, this generation is the reincarnation of the generation of the dispersion. Because that generation sinned by building a tower out of bricks and mortar, 8 I am rectifying their souls by forcing this generation to make mortar and bricks. 9 In this sense, the phrase God said, I am God means that God s attribute of justice (indicated by the Name Elokim), meting out punishment in kind, is really just a disguised form of His attribute of mercy (indicated by the Name Havayah). By subjecting the people to this servitude, God was rectifying and healing them of their past sins As evidenced by the unusual use of the Name Elokim, rather than the Name Havayah, in this verse. 2. Above, 5: To Abraham: Genesis 17:1,8; to Isaac: ibid. 26:3; to Jacob: ibid. 35: Likutei Sichot, vol. 31, pp. 23 ff. 5. Torah Or 56a ff. 6. Shemot Rabbah 5: Sha ar HaKavanot, Derushei Pesach 1; Sha ar HaPesukim, Shemot. 8. Genesis 11:3. 9. Exodus 1: Pelach HaRimon, vol. 2, pp. 32,

6 וארא FIRST READING 4 ו ג ם ה ק מ ת י א ת ב ר ית י א ת ם ל ת ת ל ה ם א ת א ר ץ כ נ ע ן א ת א ר ץ מ ג ר יה ם א ש ר ג ר ו ב ה: 5 ו ג ם א נ י ש מ ע ת י א ת נ א ק ת ב נ י י ש ר א ל א ש ר מ צ ר י ם מ ע ב ד ים א ת ם ו א ז כ ר א ת ב ר ית י: 6 ל כ ן א מ ר ל ב נ י י ש ר א ל א נ י י הו ה ו ה וצ את י א ת כ ם מ ת ח ת ס ב ל ת מ צ ר י ם ו ה צ ל ת י א ת כ ם מ ע ב ד ת ם ו ג א ל ת י א ת כ ם ב ז ר וע נ ט וי ה וב ש פ ט ים ג ד ל ים: 7 ו ל ק ח ת י א ת כ ם ל י ל ע ם ו ה י ית י ל כ ם ל א לה ים ו יד ע ת ם כ י א נ י י הו ה א ל ה יכ ם ה מ וצ יא א ת כ ם מ ת ח ת ס ב ל ות מ צ ר י ם: 8 ו ה ב את י א ת כ ם א ל ה א ר ץ א ש ר נ ש את י א ת י ד י ל ת ת א ת ה ל א ב ר ה ם ל י צ ח ק ו ל י ע ק ב ו נ ת ת י א ת ה ל כ ם מ ור ש ה א נ י י הו ה: 4 ו ג ם ה ק מ ת י א ת ב ר ית י ו גו '. ו ג ם כ ש נ ר א ית י ל ה ם ב "א ל ש ד י" ה צ ב ת י ו ה ע מ ד ת י ב ר ית י ב ינ י ו ב ינ יה ם: ל ת ת ל ה ם א ת א ר ץ כ נ ע ן. ל א ב ר ה ם ב פ ר ש ת מ יל ה נ א מ ר: "א נ י א ל ש ד י ו גו ' ו נ ת ת י ל ך ו ל ז ר ע ך א ח ר יך א ת א ר ץ מ ג ר יך " 4. ל י צ ח ק: "כ י ל ך ו ל ז ר ע ך א ת ן א ת כ ל ה א ר צ ת ה א ל, ו ה ק מ ת י א ת ה ש ב ע ה א ש ר נ ש ב ע ת י ל א ב ר ה ם". 5 ו או ת ה ש בו ע ה ש נ ש ב ע ת י ל א ב ר ה ם ב "א ל ש ד י", א מ ר ת י ל י ע ק ב: "א נ י א ל ש ד י פ ר ה ו ר ב ה ו גו ' ו א ת ה א ר ץ א ש ר ו גו '" 6. ה ר י ש נ ד ר ת י ONKELOS RASHI 4. בראשית יז, א ח. 5. שם כו, ג. 6. בראשית לה, יא יב. 7. בראשית טו, יד. 8. שם. 4 ו א ף א ק ימ ית י ת ק י מ י ע מ הו ן ל מ ת ן ל הו ן י ת א ר ע א ד כ נ ע ן י ת א ר ע ת ו ת בו ת הו ן ד י א ת ו ת בו ב ה : 5 ו א ף ק ד מ י ש מ יע י ת ק ב יל ת ב נ י י ש ר א ל ד י מ צ ר א י מ פ ל ח ין ב הו ן ו ד כ יר נ א י ת ק י מ י: 6 ב כ ן א ימ ר ל ב נ י י ש ר א ל א נ א י י ו א פ יק י ת כו ן מ ג ו ד חו ק פ ל ח ן מ צ ר א י ו א ש יז יב י ת כו ן מ פ ל ח נ הו ן ו א פ רו ק י ת כו ן ב ד ר ע מ ר מ א ו ב ד ינ ין ר ב ר ב ין: 7 ו א ק ר יב י ת כו ן ק ד מ י ל ע מ א ו א ה ו י ל כו ן ל אל ה א ו ת ד עו ן א ר י א נ א י י א ל ה כו ן ד א פ יק י ת כו ן מ ג ו ד חו ק פ ל ח ן מ צ ר א י: 8 ו א ע יל י ת כו ן ל א ר ע א ד י ק י ימ ית ב מ ימ ר י ל מ ת ן י ת ה ל א ב ר ה ם ל י צ ח ק ו ל י ע ק ב ו א ת ן י ת ה ל כו ן י ר ת א א נ א י י : ל ה ם ו ל א ק י מ ת י: 5 ו ג ם א נ י. כ מו ש ה צ ב ת י ו ה ע מ ד ת י ה ב ר ית, י ש ע ל י ל ק י ם. ל פ יכ ך "ש מ ע ת י א ת נ א ק ת ב נ י י ש ר א ל" ה נ ו א ק ים: א ש ר מ צ ר י ם מ ע ב ד ים א ת ם ו א ז כ ר. או תו ה ב ר ית. כ י ב ב ר ית ב ין ה ב ת ר ים א מ ר ת י לו : "ו ג ם א ת ה ג ו י א ש ר י ע ב דו ד ן א נ כ י" 6 : 7 ל כ ן. ע ל פ י או ת ה ה ש בו ע ה: א מ ר ל ב נ י י ש ר א ל א נ י ה'. ה נ א מ ן ב ה ב ט ח ת י: ו הו צ את י א ת כ ם. כ י כ ן ה ב ט ח ת יו: "ו א ח ר י כ ן י צ או ב ר כ ש ג דו ל" : 8 ס ב ל ת מ צ ר י ם. טו ר ח מ ש א מ צ ר י ם: 8 נ ש את י א ת י ד י. ה ר ימו ת יה ל ה ש ב ע ב כ ס א י: nature s laws. 21 I was not known to them by My Name God: Another way of expressing the idea that the patriarchs did not experience a true manifestation of the Name Havayah, even though they were aware of it, is to say that there are two such Names, one that is manifest within nature and one that transcends it. 22 The patriarchs experienced the former but not the latter I am God : The repeated use of the Name Havayah here and especially the explicit statement, you shall know that I am God illustrates the point made above: that the purpose of the exile was that we reach the Divine consciousness signified by this Name. 6-7 I will free you save you from their servitude redeem you I will take you to Myself: The four verbs in this passage allude to four ascending levels in our relationship with God: I will free you: This refers to shunning evil. By shunning evil, we become free agents, unencumbered by its oppressive grip on us. I will save you from their servitude: This refers to doing good, i.e., actively performing God s commandments. Only by actively engaging in good deeds can we be saved from backsliding into enslavement to evil. I will redeem you: This refers to studying the Torah, since the Torah is the means by which we access God s infinity even while in this finite world, and thereby are redeemed from the limitations of nature. I will take you to Myself: This refers to clinging to God Himself, whose essence transcends all categorization, both the finite and the infinite. 24 Melukat, vol. 5, pp. 137 ff. 22. This is alluded to by the fact that the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy (below, 34:6) begin with two instances of the Name Havayah. 23. Sefer HaMa amarim 5729, pp ; Sefer HaMa amarim 5714, p Sefer HaMa amarim 5678, p

7 Exodus 6:4-8 VAEIRA 4 Nonetheless, they did not question My trustworthiness. The proof is that when I appeared to them as El Shadai, I also made My covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their sojourning in which they stayed. But when Abraham had to bury Sarah and pay an exorbitant price for a gravesite, 15 and when Isaac had to defend his rights to the wells he dug, 16 and when Jacob had to pay for a field in which to camp, 17 none of them questioned My justice. In contrast, the first thing you asked Me when I approached you for this mission was When they ask me, what is His Name? when they ask me what kind of God is it that fails to fulfill His promises what shall I tell them? 18 You suspected Me of sending you on a doomed venture. And now, at the first setback in your mission, you have questioned My justice! 19 These same words contain the instructions God gave to Moses after rebuking him: [2] He said to him, I am God; this is My proper Name, which indicates that I can be relied upon to reward those faithful to Me, for because of My transcendence, nothing can prevent Me from fulfilling My promises. This, then, is why I have sent you: [3] I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, when I made promises to them, only as El Shadai, which indicates My omnipotence, but was not known to them by the Name indicating My trustworthiness God for I did not fulfill these promises to them. They knew of this Name, but did not experience its full significance firsthand. [4] On these occasions, I also made My covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their sojourning in which they stayed. 5 I have therefore heard the Israelites groaning, complaining that the Egyptians are enslaving them, and I have recalled My covenant to punish the nation that enslaves them Therefore, in accordance with these promises, convey to the Israelites: I am God, who can be relied upon to reward those faithful to Him. I will therefore free you from the burdens of the Egyptians, as I promised, save you from their servitude, and redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great chastisements. 7 I will take you to Myself as a nation, and I will be your God. And thus you shall know that I am God, your God, who is freeing you from the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 I will bring you to the land regarding which I raised My hand to swear that I would give it to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you as a heritage; I am God. I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as El Shadai [ God Almighty ]: Even though this Divine Name does not appear in the Torah until the history of the patriarchs, we are taught that it was already revealed in the world at creation. Shadai means who is enough, referring to how God halted the process of creation by saying enough! as it were, once it had proceeded exactly as far as He intended. However, the word Shadai can also mean who has enough, i.e., that God s power is sufficient to supply His creation with all its needs. This aspect of God is the source of all the miracles that take place without openly overriding the laws of nature. This is the additional aspect of this Name that was revealed to the patriarchs. With the Giving of the Torah, the Name Havayah was revealed in the world; this Name is the source of a higher order of miracles, those that openly defy 15. Genesis Genesis 26: Genesis 33: Above, 3: Rashi on 6:9, below. Liktuei Sichot, vol. 12, pp ; vol. 21, pp Genesis 15: Sefer HaMa amarim 5629, p. 49; Sefer HaMa amarim 5630, p. 62; Sefer HaMa amarim 39

8 וארא FIRST READING 9 ו י ד ב ר מ ש ה כ ן א ל ב נ י י ש ר א ל ו ל א ש מ ע ו א ל מ ש ה מ ק צ ר ר וח ומ ע ב ד ה ק ש ה: פ 10 ו י ד ב ר י הו ה א ל מ ש ה ל אמ ר: 11 ב א ד ב ר א ל פ ר ע ה מ ל ך מ צ ר י ם ו י ש ל ח א ת ב נ י י ש ר א ל מ א ר צ ו: 12 ו י ד ב ר מ ש ה ל פ נ י י הו ה ל אמ ר ה ן ב נ י י ש ר א ל לא ש מ ע ו א ל י ו א י ך י ש מ ע נ י פ ר ע ה ו א נ י ע ר ל ש פ ת י ם: פ 13 ו י ד ב ר י הו ה א ל מ ש ה ו א ל א ה ר ן ו י צ ו ם א ל ב נ י י ש ר א ל ו א ל פ ר ע ה מ ל ך מ צ ר י ם ל ה וצ יא א ת ב נ י י ש ר א ל מ א ר ץ מ צ ר י ם: ס 9 ו ל א ש מ עו א ל מ ש ה. ל א ק ב לו ת נ חו מ ין: מ ק צ ר רו ח. כ ל מ י ש הו א מ יצ ר, רו חו ו נ ש ימ תו ק צ ר ה ו א ינו י כו ל ל ה א ר יך ב נ ש ימ תו. ק רו ב ל ע נ י ן ז ה ש מ ע ת י ב פ ר ש ה זו מ ר ב י ב רו ך ב ר ב י א ל יע ז ר, ו ה ב יא ל י ר א י ה מ מ ק ר א ז ה: "ב פ ע ם ה ז את או ד יע ם א ת י ד י ו א ת ג בו ר ת י, ו י ד עו כ י ש מ י ה'". 9 ל מ ד נו, כ ש ה ק דו ש ב רו ך הו א מ א מ ן א ת ד ב ר יו א פ ל ו ל פ ר ע נו ת, מו ד יע ש ש מו "ה'", ו כ ל ש כ ן ה א מ נ ה ל טו ב ה. ו ר ב ו ת ינו ד ר ש ו הו 10 ל ע נ י ן ש ל מ ע ל ה, ש א מ ר מ ש ה: "ל מ ה ה ר ע ת ה", 11 א מ ר לו ה ק דו ש ב רו ך הו א: ח ב ל ע ל ד א ב ד ין ו ל א מ ש ת כ ח ין, י ש ל י ל ה ת או נ ן ע ל מ ית ת ה א בו ת, ה ר ב ה פ ע מ ים נ ג ל ית י א ל יה ם ב "א ל ש ד י" ו ל א א מ רו ל י מ ה ש מ ך, ו א ת ה א מ ר ת : "מ ה ש מו, מ ה א מ ר א ל ה ם" : 12 ו ג ם ה ק מ ת י ו גו '. ו כ ש ב ק ש א ב ר ה ם ל ק ב ר א ת ש ר ה, ל א מ צ א ק ב ר, ע ד ש ק נ ה ב ד מ ים מ ר ב ים. ו כ ן ב י צ ח ק, ע ר ע רו ע ל יו ע ל ה ב א רו ת א ש ר ח פ ר. ו כ ן ב י ע ק ב: "ו י ק ן א ת ח ל ק ת ה ש ד ה א ש ר נ ט ה ש ם א ה לו " 13, ו ל א ה ר ה רו א ח ר מ ד ו ת י, ו א ת ה א מ ר ת : "ל מ ה ה ר ע ת ה". ו א ין ה מ ד ר ש מ ת י ש ב א ח ר ה מ ק ר א, מ פ נ י כ מ ה ד ב ר ים: א ח ת, ש ל א נ א מ ר ו ש מ י ה' ל א ש א לו ל י. ו א ם ת אמ ר: ל א הו ד יע ם ש כ ך ש מו. ה ר י ת ח ל ה כ ש נ ג ל ה יך ל א ב ר ה ם ב ין ה ב ת ר ים נ א מ ר: "א נ י ה' א ש ר הו צ את מ או ר כ ש ד ים". 14 ו עו ד, ה יא ך ה ס מ יכ ה נ מ ש כ ת ב ד ב ר ים ONKELOS RASHI 9 ו מ ל יל מ ש ה כ ן ע ם ב נ י י ש ר א ל ו ל א ק ב ילו מ ן מ ש ה מ ע י ק רו ח ו מ פ ל ח נ א ד ה ו ה ק ש י ע ל יהו ן: 10 ו מ ל יל י י ע ם מ ש ה ל מ ימ ר: 11 עו ל מ ל יל ע ם פ ר ע ה מ ל כ א ד מ צ ר י ם ו יש ל ח י ת ב נ י י ש ר א ל מ א ר ע ה : 12 ו מ ל יל מ ש ה ק ד ם י י ל מ ימ ר ה א ב נ י י ש ר א ל ל א ק ב ילו מ נ י ו א יכ ד ין י ק ב ל מ נ י פ ר ע ה ו א נ א י ק יר מ מ ל ל: 13 ו מ ל יל י י ע ם מ ש ה ו ע ם א ה ר ן ו פ ק יד נ ו ן ל ו ת ב נ י י ש ר א ל ו ל ו ת פ ר ע ה מ ל כ א ד מ צ ר י ם ל א פ ק א י ת ב נ י י ש ר א ל מ א ר ע א ד מ צ ר י ם: ש הו א סו מ ך ל כ אן: "ו ג ם א נ י ש מ ע ת י ו גו ' ל כ ן א מ ר ל ב נ י י ש ר א ל". ל כ ך א נ י או מ ר, י ת י ש ב ה מ ק ר א ע ל פ ש ו טו ד ב ר ד בו ר ע ל א פ נ יו ו ה ד ר ש ה ת ד ר ש, ש נ א מ ר: "ה לו א כ ה ד ב ר י כ א ש נ א ם ה', ו כ פ ט יש י פ צ ץ ס ל ע" 15 מ ת ח ל ק ל כ מ ה נ יצו צו ת: 12 ו א יך י ש מ ע נ י פ ר ע ה. ז ה א ח ד מ ע ש ר ה ק ל ו ח מ ר ש ב ת ו ר ה: ע ר ל ש פ ת י ם. א טו ם ש פ ת י ם. ו כ ן כ ל ל ש ו ן "ע ר ל ה", א נ י או מ ר ש הו א א טו ם: "ע ר ל ה א ז נ ם" 16 א טו מ ה מ ש מו ע. "ע ר ל י ל ב" 17 א טו מ ים מ ה ב ין. "ש ת ה ג ם א ת ה ו ה ע ר ל" 18 ו ה א ט ם מ ש כ רו ת כ ו ס ה ק ל ל ה. "ע ר ל ת ב ש ר" 19 ש ה ג יד א טו ם ו מ כ ס ה ב ה. "ו ע ר ל ת ם ע ר ל תו " 20 ע ש ו לו א ט ם ו כ ס ו י, א ס ו ר 21 ש י ב ד יל ב פ נ י א כ יל תו. "ש ל ש ש נ ים י ה י ה ל כ ם ע ר ל ים" א טו ם ו מ כ ס ה ו מ ב ד ל מ ל א כ לו : 13 ו י ד ב ר ה' א ל מ ש ה ו א ל א ה ר ן. ל פ י ש א מ ר מ ש ה: "ו א נ י ע ר ל ש פ ת י ם", 22 צ ר ף לו ה ק דו ש ב רו ך הו א א ת א ה ר ן, ל ה יו ת לו ל פ ה ו ל מ ל יץ: ו י צ ו ם א ל ב נ י י ש ר א ל. צ ו ם ע ל יה ם ל ה נ ה יג ם ב נ ח ת ו ל ס ב ל או ת ם: ו א ל פ ר ע ה מ ל ך מ צ ר י ם. צ ו ם ע ל יו ל ח לו ק לו כ בו ד ב ד ב ר יה ם. ז הו מ ד ר ש ו. ו פ ש ו טו : צ ו ם ע ל ד ב ר י ש ר א ל ו ע ל ש ל יחו תו א ל פ ר ע ה. ו ד ב ר ה צ ו ו י מ הו? ך מ פ ר ש ב פ ר ש ה ש נ י ה, ל א ח ר ס ד ר ה י ח ס. א ל א, מ ת ו ש ה ז כ יר מ ש ה ו א ה ר ן, ה פ ס יק ה ע נ י ן ב "א ל ה ר אש י ב ית א ב ת ם", ל ל מ ד נו ה יא ך נו ל דו מ ש ה ו א ה ר ן, ו ב מ י נ ת י ח סו : 9. ירמיה טז, כא. 10. סנהדרין קיא, א. 11. שמות ה, כב. 12. שמות ג, יג. 13. בראשית לג, יט. 14. בראשית טו, ז. 15. ירמיה כג, כט. 16. ירמיהו ו, י. 17. ירמיה ט, כה. 18. חבקוק ב, טז. 19. ע"פ בראשית יז, יא כה; ויקרא יב, ג; יחזקאל מד, ז, ט. 20. ויקרא יט, כג. 21. שם. 22. לעיל פסוק יב. In order to overcome these two obstacles: God charged Moses and Aaron regarding the Israelites: i.e., He connected 34 them to the people and, through them, to the physical world. And Pharaoh: He connected them to Pharaoh, forcing Pharaoh to hold on to the Jews and to refuse to let them go. And all this was In order to take the Israelites out of Egypt. 35 HaMa amarim 5627, pp. 95, The verb to command also means to connect. 35. Likutei Amarim (the Maggid) 178; Or HaTorah, Shemot, vol. 1, p

9 Exodus 6:9-13 VAEIRA 9 When things got worse after Moses announced the redemption, the scoffers and skeptics again 25 succeeded in demoralizing the people and making them despair of being redeemed. 26 So Moses related God s message via Aaron to the Israelites, but they did not listen to Moses, because of their anguish of spirit evinced by their shortness of breath, which had made them despair of being redeemed, and because of the harsh labor, which had made them skeptical of Moses promises God then spoke to Moses, saying, 11 Come and speak to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, so that he will send the Israelites out of his land. 12 But Moses spoke before God, saying, Even the Israelites have not listened to me, so how will Pharaoh listen to me? For it is clear now that not only do I stammer and have a slow tongue; even when I addressed the people via Aaron I was so inept at transmitting Your message that I may as well be a man of blocked lips, who cannot speak altogether. Now answer me; tell me if you plan to redeem the Jews or not God therefore spoke to both Moses and to Aaron, giving them specific instructions regarding how they were to address Pharaoh. 29 In addition, He made them His emissaries 30 to the Israelites and to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, charging them to speak patiently to the former and respectfully to the latter, in order to successfully take the Israelites out of Egypt. 9 But they did not listen to Moses, because of their anguish of spirit and harsh labor: Each one of us possesses an inner Moses, which is our awareness and knowledge of God. 31 The reason why we often do not sense it or hear its voice is because of the anguish of spirit and harsh labor, that is, because of the travails of our exile. But it is present nonetheless Even the Israelites have not listened to me, so how will Pharaoh listen to me? God spoke to Moses and to Aaron He commanded them to speak to the Israelites in order to take the Israelites out of Egypt: The people by this point had all but given up hope. God therefore told Moses to enlist Aaron s help in buoying up their spirits. Moses, the transmitter of the Torah, personified the descent of Divinity into the world. In contrast, Aaron, who was to become the progenitor of the priestly line, personified the ascent of the world into Divinity that occurred through the priestly rites. It was therefore necessary for him to be involved in uplifting the people so they could leave Egypt. Allegorically, the Israelites signify the Divine soul within each of us, while Pharaoh signifies the human soul (with its animal drives) within us. Egypt, as we know, signifies the constricted consciousness of the material world. Moses question to God, in this context, was: If, because of its suffering in exile, the Divine soul which is by nature foreign to the physical world has despaired of being liberated from the constrictions of materiality, how can I hope to inspire the human-animal soul to want to leave? The material world is its natural habitat! To this, God replied, Indeed, you and your approach are not able to inspire the human/animal soul in this way. This aspect of the personality cannot relate directly to pure, Divine concepts and values. For this, you must enlist the help of Aaron, someone who is able to speak to individuals on their level. We, too, must find and enlist the Aaron within us when we seek to inspire the human/animal side of ourselves (or others) to reorient itself toward Divinity God spoke to Moses and to Aaron: According to Rabbi Dovber, the Maggid of Mezeritch, there were two obstacles preventing the redemption from Egypt from happening the way God wanted it to: Moses and Aaron at this point were too absorbed in the spiritual dimension of life to be capable of serving as channels for God s revelations to the world. Pharaoh, the arch-opponent to Godly revelation, knew that the impending plagues would unequivocally demonstrate God s existence and omnipotence. He was willing to do anything even release the Israelites from slavery rather than allow the great revelations of God attending the plagues to occur. 25. See above, 4: Sefer HaMa amarim 5705, pp Sefer HaMa amarim 5705, p Rashi on Numbers 12: These are specified later, in 7: Rashi on Genesis 50: Tanya, chapter Sefer HaSichot 5703, p Sefer 40

10 וארא SECOND READING שני 14 א ל ה ר א ש י ב ית א ב ת ם ב נ י ר א וב ן ב כ ר י ש ר א ל ח נ ו ך ופ ל וא ח צ ר ן ו כ ר מ י א ל ה מ ש פ ח ת ר א וב ן: 15 וב נ י ש מ ע ון י מ וא ל ו י מ ין ו א ה ד ו י כ ין ו צ ח ר ו ש א ול ב ן ה כ נ ע נ ית א ל ה מ ש פ ח ת ש מ ע ון: 16 ו א ל ה ש מ ות ב נ י ל ו י ל ת ל ד ת ם ג ר ש ון וק ה ת ומ ר ר י ו ש נ י ח י י ל ו י ש ב ע ו ש ל ש ים ומ א ת ש נ ה: 17 ב נ י ג ר ש ון ל ב נ י ו ש מ ע י ל מ ש פ ח ת ם: 18 וב נ י ק ה ת ע מ ר ם ו י צ ה ר ו ח ב ר ון ו ע ז יא ל ו ש נ י ח י י ק ה ת ש ל ש ו ש ל ש ים ומ א ת ש נ ה: 19 וב נ י מ ר ר י מ ח ל י ומ ו ש י א ל ה מ ש פ ח ת ה ל ו י ל ת ל ד ת ם: 20 ו י ק ח ע מ ר ם א ת י וכ ב ד ד ד ת ו ל ו ל א ש ה ו ת ל ד ל ו א ת א ה ר ן ו א ת מ ש ה ו ש נ י ח י י ע מ ר ם ש ב ע ו ש ל ש ים ומ א ת ש נ ה: 21 וב נ י י צ ה ר ק ר ח ו נ פ ג ו ז כ ר י: 22 וב נ י ע ז יא ל מ י ש א ל ו א ל צ פ ן ו ס ת ר י: 23 ו י ק ח א ה ר ן א ת א ל י ש ב ע ב ת ע מ ינ ד ב א ח ות נ ח ש ון ל ו ל א ש ה ו ת ל ד ל ו א ת נ ד ב ו א ת א ב יה וא א ת א ל ע ז ר ו א ת א ית מ ר: 24 וב נ י ק ר ח א ס יר ו א ל ק נ ה ו א ב יא ס ף א ל ה מ ש פ ח ת ה ק ר ח י: 14 א ל ה ר אש י ב ית א ב ת ם. מ ת ו ך ש ה ז ק ק ל י ח ס ש ב טו ש ל ל ו י ע ד מ ש ה ו א ה ר ן ב ש ב יל מ ש ה ו א ה ר ן, ה ת ח יל 23 ל י ח ס ם ד ר ך ת ו ל דו ת ם מ ר או ב ן. ו ב פ ס יק ת א ה ג דו ל ה ר א ית י: ל פ י ש ק נ ט ר ם י ע ק ב א ב יה ם ל ש ל ש ה ש ב ט ים ה ל לו, ב ש ע ת מו תו, ח ז ר ה כ תו ב ו י ח ס ם כ אן ל ב ד ם, לו מ ר ש ח ש ו ב ים ה ם: 16 ו ש נ י ח י י ל ו י ו גו '. ל מ ה נ מ נו ש נו ת יו ש ל ל ו י? ל הו ד יע כ מ ה י מ י ה ש ע ב ו ד, ש כ ל ז מ ן ש א ח ד מ ן ה ש ב ט ים ק י ם, ל א ה י ה ש ע ב ו ד, ש נ א מ ר: "ו י מ ת יו ס ף ו כ ל א ח יו", 24 ו א ח ר כ ך : "ו י ק ם מ ל ך ח ד ש " 25. ו ל ו י ה א ר יך י מ ים ע ל כ ל ם: 18 ו ש נ י ח י י ק ה ת... ONKELOS RASHI ו ש נ י ח י י ע מ ר ם ו גו '. מ ח ש ב ו ן ז ה א נו ל מ ד ים ע ל מו ש ב ב נ י י ש ר א ל "א ר ב ע מ או ת ש נ ה" ש א מ ר ה כ תו ב, 26 ש ל א ב א ר ץ מ צ ר י ם ל ב ד ה ה יו, א ל א מ י ו ם ש נ ו ל ד י צ ח ק: ש ה ר י ק ה ת מ י ו ר ד י מ צ ר י ם ה י ה, ח ש ב כ ל ש נו ת יו ו ש נו ת ע מ ר ם ו ש מו נ ים ש ל מ ש ה, ל א ת מ צ א ם א ר ב ע מ או ת ש נ ה, ו ה ר ב ה ש נ ים נ ב ל ע ים ל ב נ ים ב ש נ י ה א בו ת: 20 יו כ ב ד ד ד תו. "א ח ת א בו ה י" ב ת ל ו י א חו ת ק ה ת: יך 23 א חו ת נ ח ש ו ן. מ כ אן ל מ ד נו : ה נ ו ש א א ש ה צ ר ל ב דו ק ב א ח יה : 14 א ל ין ר יש י ב ית א ב ה ת הו ן ב נ י ר או ב ן ב ו כ ר א ד י ש ר א ל ח נו ך ו פ ל ו א ח צ רו ן ו כ ר מ י א ל ין ז ר ע י ת ר או ב ן: 15 ו ב נ י ש מ עו ן י מו א ל ו י מ ין ו א ה ד ו י כ ין ו צ ח ר ו ש או ל ב ר כ נ ע נ ית א א ל ין ז ר ע י ת ש מ עו ן: 16 ו א ל ין ש מ ה ת ב נ י ל ו י ל תו ל ד ת הו ן ג ר ש ו ן ו ק ה ת ו מ ר ר י ו ש נ י ח י י ל ו י מ א ה ו ת ל ת ין ו ש ב ע ש נ ין: 17 ב נ י ג ר ש ו ן ל ב נ י ו ש מ ע י ל ז ר ע י ת הו ן: 18 ו ב נ י ק ה ת ע מ ר ם ו י צ ה ר ו ח ב רו ן ו ע ז יא ל ו ש נ י ח י י ק ה ת מ א ה ו ת ל ת ין ו ת ל ת ש נ ין: 19 ו ב נ י מ ר ר י מ ח ל י ו מו ש י א ל ין ז ר ע י ת ל ו י ל תו ל ד ת הו ן: 20 ו נ ס יב ע מ ר ם י ת יו כ ב ד א ח ת א בו ה י ל ה ל א ת ו ו יל יד ת ל ה י ת א ה ר ן ו י ת מ ש ה ו ש נ י ח י י ע מ ר ם מ א ה ו ת ל ת ין ו ש ב ע ש נ ין: 21 ו ב נ י י צ ה ר ק ר ח ו נ פ ג ו ז כ ר י: 22 ו ב נ י ע ז יא ל מ יש א ל ו א ל צ פ ן ו ס ת ר י: 23 ו נ ס יב א ה ר ן י ת א ל יש ב ע ב ת ע מ ינ ד ב א ח ת ה ד נ ח ש ו ן ל ה ל א ת ו ו יל יד ת ל ה י ת נ ד ב ו י ת א ב יהו א י ת א ל ע ז ר ו י ת א ית מ ר: 24 ו ב נ י ק ר ח א ס יר ו א ל ק נ ה ו א ב יא ס ף א ל ין ז ר ע י ת ק ר ח: 23. פסיקתא רבתי פרשה ז. 24. שמות א, ו. 25. פסוק ח. 26. בראשית טו, יג. [20] Amram s aunt: The Torah prohibits a man from marrying his father s sister. 47 However, as we have seen, 48 before the Torah was formally given, only the Torah s for non-jews were legally binding, A CLOSER LOOK and non-jews are permitted to marry paternal relatives, 49 so Amram was permitted to marry his father s sister Leviticus 18: Genesis 43: Rashi on Genesis 20: Likutei Sichot, vol. 6, p. 43, note

11 Exodus 6:14-24 VAEIRA Moses and Aaron s Lineage Second Reading 14 Moses and Aaron s lineage was an important factor contributing to the esteem the people accorded them as leaders. They were members of the most respected tribe, Levi, and of the most respected Levite family, that of Amram. The Torah therefore now articulates Moses and Aaron s lineage. In order to highlight their place amongst the descendants of Jacob, the Torah lists Jacob s descendants in order as far back as Levi, in order to establish Moses and Aaron as descendants of Jacob s third son. By emphasizing how they were the sons of Amram and Yocheved, the Torah further highlights how they were born and raised in an environment of dedication to ideals and bravery: Yocheved fearlessly defied Pharaoh s order to murder the newborn Jewish boys, and Amram remarried his wife despite Pharaoh s order. 36 Finally, since Jacob had reprimanded Reuben, Simeon, and Levi, 37 the progeny of these sons are now listed again, indicating that their status as Jacob s sons was not compromised by his rebuke. The following are the heads of the paternal clans of the first three tribes: 38 The sons of Reuben, Israel s i.e., Jacob s firstborn, were Chanoch, Palu, Chetzron, and Karmi; those are the families of Reuben. 15 The sons of Simeon were Yemuel, Yamin, Ohad, Yachin, Tzochar, and Shaul, the son of Dinah, who was considered the Canaanite woman; 39 those are the families of Simeon. 16 These are the names of the sons of Levi in their order of birth: Gershon, Kehot, and Merari. The years of Levi s life came to 137 when he died, in the year The sons of Gershon were Livni and Shimi, with their respective families. 18 The sons of Kehot were Amram, Yitzhar, Chevron, and Uziel. The years of Kehot s life came to 133 when he died, in the year 2370 or a year or two before The sons of Merari were Machli and Mushi. The above are the families of Levi, in their order of birth. 20 Amram married Yocheved, who was both the daughter of Levi 42 having the same father as Kehot, and Amram s aunt having the same mother as Kehot. She was thus a woman of nobility. 43 She bore him Aaron and Moses. The years of Amram s life came to 137 when he died, some time before the year The sons of Yitzhar were Korach, Nefeg, and Zichri. 22 The sons of Uziel were Mishael, Eltzafan, and Sitri. 23 Aaron married Elisheva, daughter of Aminadav and sister of Nachshon, the prince of the tribe of Judah 45 from her mention as Nachshon s sister we see that when someone is considering marrying a certain woman he should examine her brothers 46 and she bore him Nadav, Avihu, Eleazar, and Itamar. 24 The sons of Korach were Asir, Elkanah, and Aviasaf; those are the families of the clan of Korach. 36. Likutei Sichot, vol. 16, pp Genesis 49: Genesis 46: See on Geneis 46: See above, 1: Seder HaDorot See above, 2: Likutei Sichot, vol. 6, pp Seder HaDorot 2255, 2261, Numbers 1: See Likutei Sichot, vol. 6, p. 44, note

12 וארא SECOND READING ONKELOS 25 ו א ל ע ז ר ב ן א ה ר ן ל ק ח ל ו מ ב נ ות פ וט יא ל ל ו ל א ש ה ו ת ל ד ל ו א ת פ ינ ח ס א ל ה ר א ש י א ב ות ה ל ו י ם ל מ ש פ ח ת ם: 26 ה וא א ה ר ן ומ ש ה א ש ר א מ ר י הו ה ל ה ם ה וצ יא ו א ת ב נ י י ש ר א ל מ א ר ץ מ צ ר י ם ע ל צ ב א ת ם: 27 ה ם ה מ ד ב ר ים א ל פ ר ע ה מ ל ך מ צ ר י ם ל ה וצ יא א ת ב נ י י ש ר א ל מ מ צ ר י ם ה וא מ ש ה ו א ה ר ן: 28 ו י ה י ב י ום ד ב ר י הו ה א ל מ ש ה ב א ר ץ מ צ ר י ם: ס 25 ו א ל ע ז ר ב ר א ה ר ן נ ס יב ל ה מ ב נ ת פ ו ט יא ל ל ה ל א ת ו ו יל יד ת ל ה י ת פ ינ ח ס א ל ין ר יש י א ב ה ת ל יו א י ל ז ר ע י ת הו ן: 26 הו א א ה ר ן ו מ ש ה ד י א מ ר י י ל הו ן א פ יקו י ת ב נ י י ש ר א ל מ א ר ע א ד מ צ ר י ם ע ל ח יל יהו ן: 27 א נ ו ן ד מ מ ל ל ין ע ם פ ר ע ה מ ל כ א ד מ צ ר י ם ל א פ ק א י ת ב נ י י ש ר א ל מ מ צ ר י ם הו א מ ש ה ו א ה ר ן: 28 ו ה ו ה ב יו מ א ד מ ל יל י י ע ם מ ש ה ב א ר ע א ד מ צ ר י ם: 25 מ ב נו ת פ ו ט יא ל. מ ז ר ע י ת רו, ש פ ט ם ע ג ל ים ל ע בו ד ה ז ר ה. ו מ ז ר ע יו ס ף, ש פ ט פ ט ב י צ רו : 26 הו א א ה ר ן ו מ ש ה. א ל ו ש ה ז כ רו ל מ ע ל ה, ש י ל ד ה יו כ ב ד ל ע מ ר ם. "הו א א ה ר ן ו מ ש ה", י ש מ קו מו ת ש מ ק ד ים א ה ר ן ל מ ש ה, ו י ש מ קו מו ת ש מ ק ד ים מ ש ה ל א ה ר ן, לו מ ר ל ך ש ש קו ל ין כ א ח ד: ע ל צ ב א ת ם. ב צ ב או ת ם, כ ל צ ב א ם ל ש ב ט יה ם. 27. בראשית כז, מ. 28. יחזקאל לג, כו. RASHI ך י ש "ע ל" ש א ינו א ל א ב מ קו ם או ת א ח ת: "ע ל ח ר ב ת ח י ה" 27 כ מו "ב ח ר ב ך ". "ע מ ד ת ם ע ל ח ר ב כ ם" 28 כ מו "ב ח ר ב כ ם": 27 ה ם ה מ ד ב ר ים ו גו '. ה ם ש נ צ ט ו ו, ה ם ש ק י מו : הו א מ ש ה ו א ה ר ן. ה ם ב ש ל יחו ת ם ו ב צ ד ק ת ם, מ ת ח ל ה ו ע ד סו ף: 28 ו י ה י ב יו ם ד ב ר ו גו '. מ ח ב ר ל מ ק ר א ש ל א ח ר יו: In terms of our daily lives, Moses, the transmitter of the Torah, signifies the study of the Torah and performing its commandments, while Aaron signifies prayer, inasmuch as the daily prayers correspond to the sacrificial rites performed by the priests, Aaron s descendants. Just as, in these verses, Moses sometimes precedes Aaron and Aaron sometimes precedes Moses, so must the study of the Torah sometimes precede prayer while sometimes prayer must precede the study of the Torah. In some instances, we may need to study the Torah or fulfill some commandment first in order to be properly prepared to express our love for God through prayer. Other times, we might need first to connect ourselves to God through prayer in order to study the Torah and fulfill its commandments out of proper, selfless devotion to God. 56 From another perspective, Aaron signifies our intellectual bond with God, while Moses signifies our supra-intellectual bond with God. In this context, the Israelites signify our Divine nature while Pharaoh signifies our human/animal nature. Therefore, when discussing how to speak to the Israelites, Aaron is given precedence, since it is usually enough to use the intellect to rouse our inner Divinity and generate feelings of love for God. Our Divine side responds well to logic and philosophical demonstrations. But when discussing how to speak to Pharaoh, Moses is given precedence, for in order to get the human/animal side of our personalities to answer God s calling, the force of intellect and logic is not enough. We must therefore emulate Moses and excite it with supra-intellectual revelations of God. Chief among these techniques is recounting how God has performed miracles through the sages of the Torah throughout history, up to our present time. 57 From still another perspective, Moses personified the descent of Divinity into the world, while Aaron personified the ascent of the world into Divinity. 58 Since the Exodus from Egypt was the ascent of the world toward Divinity, Aaron is mentioned first in this context. And since it was necessary to break Pharaoh s evil with a direct revelation of Divinity intentionally without regard to his inability to withstand such a revelation Moses is mentioned first in this context Likutei Torah 3:83c. 57. Or HaTorah, Shemot, vol. 1, pp ; cf. Sha ar HaYichud VeHaEmunah, chapter 5 (79b-80a). 58. Above, on vv Sefer HaMa amarim 5744, pp. 283 ff; Sefer HaMa amarim 5730, pp. 91 ff; Ma amarei Admor HaZaken 5563, vol. 1, pp. 122 ff; Sefer HaMa amarim 5655, pp. 62 ff; Sefer HaMa amarim 5680, pp. 231 ff. 42

13 Exodus 6:25-28 VAEIRA 25 Eleazar, the son of Aaron, married one of the daughters of Putiel i.e., a descendant of Jethro, who fattened [pitem] calves to sacrifice them to idols, and of Joseph, who talked [pitpeit] his evil inclination out of making him sin with Potiphar s wife and she bore him Pinchas. The above are the heads of the paternal clans of the Levites, by their families. Jacob Reuben Simeon Levi Chanoch Palu Chetzron Karmi Yemuel Yamin Ohad Yachin Tzochar Shaul Gershon Kehat Merari Livni Shimi Amram = Yocheved Yitzhar Chevron Uziel Machli Mushi Aaron = Elisheva Moses Korach Nefeg Zichri Mishael Eltzafan Sitri Nadav Avihu Eleazar Itamar Asir Elkanah Aviasaf Figure 1: Moses and Aaron s lineage Moses and Aaron go to Pharaoh Having now established the lineage of Moses and Aaron, the Torah finishes describing how Moses and Aaron were suited for their mission: 26 These are the same Aaron and Moses to whom God said, Bring the Israelites out of Egypt according to their tribal groups. They both played integral roles in this mission; in this sense, they were both equal. 27 They are the ones who spoke to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, in order to take the Israelites out of Egypt. They were selected for this mission because they were raised in an environment of selfless dedication and bravery, 51 and they lived up to these expectations. They were Moses and Aaron: each accepted and fulfilled God s mission in accordance with his unique qualities, and both were consistent in their dedication and integrity throughout their mission The Torah now resumes the narrative: On the day that God had spoken to Moses in the land of Egypt, Aaron and Moses Moses and Aaron: In Kabbalah, Moses and Aaron personify the two Divine Names Havayah and Elokim, respectively. 53 The Name Havayah signifies God s transcendence, while the Name Elokim signifies His immanence hidden within creation. The allusion to these two Names in both orders refers to the union of these two Names, i.e., the awareness that God s transcendence informs His immanence. There are two ways we can experience this consciousness: as a gift from God, or as a result of our own efforts. The former experience is more transcendent, but the latter permeates our consciousness more thoroughly and permanently. 54 Both ways are necessary and are an inherent part of the Giving of the Torah. The phrase Aaron and Moses the natural way we would expect the two brothers to be listed, in their order of birth alludes to the way God confers this consciousness upon us, descending naturally. The phrase Moses and Aaron referring to their consistency alludes to the permanence of Divine consciousness that we attain on our own Above, 6: Likutei Sichot, vol. 16, pp Zohar 2:26b; Or HaTorah, Vaeira, p. 145, p. 226 ff. 54. These two facets of the union of these two Names are alluded to by the repetition of the phrase God is God in 1 Kings 18:39 and in the two juxtaposed verses Deuteronomy 4:35 and 4: Likutei Sichot, vol. 16, pp

14 וארא THIRD READING שלישי 29 ו י ד ב ר י הו ה א ל מ ש ה ל אמ ר א נ י י הו ה ד ב ר א ל פ ר ע ה מ ל ך מ צ ר י ם א ת כ ל א ש ר א נ י ד ב ר א ל י ך: 30 ו י אמ ר מ ש ה ל פ נ י י הו ה ה ן א נ י ע ר ל ש פ ת י ם ו א י ך י ש מ ע א ל י פ ר ע ה: פ 7:1 ו י אמ ר י הו ה א ל מ ש ה ר א ה נ ת ת י ך א לה ים ל פ ר ע ה ו א ה ר ן א ח י ך י ה י ה נ ב יא ך: 2 א ת ה ת ד ב ר א ת כ ל א ש ר א צ ו ך ו א ה ר ן א ח י ך י ד ב ר א ל פ ר ע ה ו ש ל ח א ת ב נ י י ש ר א ל מ א ר צ ו: 29 ו י ד ב ר ה'. הו א ה ד ב ו ר ע צ מו ה א מו ר ל מ ע ל ה: "ב א ד ב ר א ל פ ר ע ה מ ל ך מ צ ר י ם". 29 א ל א, מ ת ו ך ש ה פ ס יק ה ע נ י ן כ ד י ל י ח ס ם, ח ז ר ה ע נ י ן ע ל יו ל ה ת ח יל ב ו : א נ י ה'. כ ד אי א נ י ל ש ל ח ך, ו ל ק י ם ד ב ר י ש ל יחו ת י: 30 ו י אמ ר מ ש ה ל פ נ י ה'. ה יא ה א מ יר ה ש א מ ר ל מ ע ל ה: "ה ן ב נ י י ש ר א ל ל א ש מ עו א ל י". 30 ו ש נ ה ה כ תו ב כ אן, כ יו ן ש ה פ ס יק ה ע נ י ן. ו כ ך ה יא ה ש יט ה, כ א ד ם ה או מ ר נ ח זו ר ע ל ה ר אש ו נו ת: 1 נ ת ת יך א ל ה ים ל פ ר ע ה. ONKELOS RASHI 29 ו מ ל יל י י ע ם מ ש ה ל מ ימ ר א נ א י י מ ל יל ע ם פ ר ע ה מ ל כ א ד מ צ ר י ם י ת כ ל ד י א נ א מ מ ל יל ע מ ך : 30 ו א מ ר מ ש ה ק ד ם י י ה א א נ א י ק יר מ מ ל ל ו א יכ ד ין י ק ב יל מ נ י פ ר ע ה: 7:1 ו א מ ר י י ל מ ש ה ח ז י ד מ נ ית ך ר ב ל פ ר ע ה ו א ה ר ן א חו ך י ה י מ ת ר ג מ נ ך : 2 א ת ת מ ל יל י ת כ ל ד י א פ ק ד נ ך ו א ה ר ן א חו ך י מ ל יל ע ם פ ר ע ה ו יש ל ח י ת ב נ י י ש ר א ל מ א ר ע ה : ש ו פ ט ו רו ד ה ל ר ד ו תו ב מ כ ו ת ו י ס ו ר ין: י ה י ה נ ב יא ך. כ ת ר ג ו מו : "מ ת ר ג מ נ ך ". ו כ ן כ ל ל ש ו ן נ בו א ה, א ד ם ה מ כ ר יז ו מ ש מ יע ל ע ם ד ב ר י ת ו כ חו ת, ו הו א מ ג ז ר ת: "נ יב ש פ ת י ם", 31 "י נו ב ח כ מ ה", 32 "ו י כ ל מ ה ת נ ב ו ת" ד ש מו א ל. 33 ו ב ל ע ז קו ר א ין לו פריידיו"ר 2 : 34 א ת ה ת ד ב ר. פ ע ם א ח ת, כ ל ש ל יחו ת ו ש ל יחו ת כ פ י ש ש מ ע ת ו מ פ י, ו א ה ר ן א ח יך י מ ל יצ נ ו ו י ט ע ימ נ ו ב א ז נ י פ ר ע ה: 29. פסוק י. 30. פסוק יב. 31. ישעיה נז, יט. 32. משלי י, לא. 33. א י, יג. 34. פ ר ק ל יט, ה ט וע ן ל פ נ י ב ית ה ד ין. ing his own gifts to accomplish his mission. Once he was void of all ego and pretension, he could serve as a transparent conduit for God s power. Similarly, there are times in our lives when our animal nature seems to have the upper hand. At such times, the best way to overcome it is to rage against it, insult it, and humiliate it. Exposing it for what it is breaks its power over us. We derive this power to brazenly oppose the forces of darkness from the spark of Moses within each of us. The same is true regarding our mission to oppose the forces of darkness in the world at large. In this effort, we are all emissaries of the leader, the Moses of our generation. Of course, we must always convey God s message in a pleasant and peaceful way, just as God commanded Moses to address Pharaoh respectfully. But at the same time, we must approach our Pharaohs fearlessly and forcefully. If we remain true to the Divine message Moses communicates to us just as Moses had to convey God s message to Pharaoh without embellishment we can break the power of darkness and help bring God s redemptive light to the world. 64 You shall repeat before Pharaoh everything that I shall command you: The people heard God s message to Moses only indirectly, through Aaron, while Pharaoh was privileged to hear it directly from Moses. Is this fair? Why should Pharaoh be so highly rewarded for his evil? The answer to this question lies in the way the Torah describes Aaron s role in each context. To the people, he simply transmitted Moses message, acting as his mouth 65 both in regard to the language of the message (Hebrew) and its content. His function was simply to compensate for Moses speech impediment. Thus, there was no deficiency in the Divine message the people heard from Aaron in fact, they heard it more clearly through him than they would have had they heard it directly from Moses. To Pharaoh, however, Aaron was Moses prophet. He translated the message into Egyptian and garbed it in his own words, using his understanding of Pharaoh s psychology to phrase the message in what he considered to be the most effective way. This was necessary because the Divine message Pharaoh heard from Moses was totally incomprehensible to him. Thus, although Pharaoh heard God s message verbatim, in the final analysis, the people heard it more directly Likutei Sichot, vol. 16, pp Above, 4: Likutei Sichot, vol. 16, pp

eriktology The Writings Book of Ecclesiastes [1]

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