Vol 31.04 - Va'eira 1 Spanish French Audio Video
"And I I revealed etc. but My name G-d (Havaye) I did not make known to them. The revelation of the name G-d (Havaye) in the going out of Egypt in Avodat HaAdam (5749)
Note: In this Sicha the Rebbe emphasizes that there will be a revelation of the Tetragrammaton - specifically, the four letter name of G-d. The Chabad Chumash translates this as “YHWH” which is used here. In Chassidut this is usually translated as “Havaye”.
1. The beginning of our Parsha tells about G-d's words to Moshe (in response to the claim (at the end of Parshat Shmot) “Why have You harmed this people etc.?”) that:
“G-d spoke to Moshe, and He said to him, "I am the L-rd. And I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob with (the name) Almighty Sh-ddai, but My name YHWH, I did not become known to them. And also, I established My covenant with them . . and I remembered My covenant. Therefore, say to the children of Israel, 'I am the L-rd, and I will take you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will save you . . and I will redeem you . .and I will take you . . and you will know that I am the L-rd your G-d etc.”
The meaning of the verse’s simple sense (pshuto) is that Moshe should not worry that “You have not saved Your people.", for now the time has arrived to fulfill the G-d’s promise to the Avot (Patriarchs) and redeem Bnei Yisroel from the land Egypt.
But this requires explanation:
What is the aspect of the preface –
“And I appeared to Abraham ..with (the name) Almighty Sh-ddai, but My name YHWH, I did not become known to them”?
that (seemingly) reduces in comparison, the promise to the Patriarchs?
Rashi explains that the intent of the verse that is that in the time of the Avot, G-d had yet to fulfill His promise and that this is the meaning of the verse:
“My name YHWH, I did not become known to them” –
meaning that – “I was not recognized by them with My attribute of Truth”(״לא נכרתי להם במדת אמיתית שלי״),
(since I did not fulfill the promises to them) But now the time to fulfill the promises has arrived.
But the main difficulty still stands:
What is the difference here that in the days of the Avot G-d's promise had yet to be fulfilled?
All words of the Torah are
(“Torah” from the word “lesson” ( הוראה )
an eternal “lesson” to each and every Jew until the end of time:
What therefore is this knowledge that “My name YHWH, I did not become known to them” teaching us?
Also one must understand the precision of the wording of the verse:
“And I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob “. For it seemingly could have stated concisely: “And I appeared to your forefathers (אבותיך)” (or some other similar expression)?
And even if there is a reason that it wanted to state the names of the three Patriarchs, it could have stated: “And I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob “(״וארא אל אברהם יצחק ויעקב״). Why must there be a division between the names using the word “to” (“And I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob“?
2. On the verse: “G-d spoke to Moshe, and He said to him, "I am the L-rd/YHVH.” The Alter Rebbe explains that this contains (not just a consolation and promise, but rather, also) an answer and response to Moshe’s claim:
“Why have You harmed this people etc.?”
For this emphasizes that the aspect of Geulat Mitzrayim – is the revelation of the Name YHVH - "I am the L-rd.”
And this is explained in the flow of the verses:
And in order to merit this revelation of the name YHVH which is an extremely lofty revelation, there first must be an extremely harsh Galut (Why have You harmed).
And the verse adds that because of this reason (i.e. the necessity of Galut), this revelation did not occur at the time of the Avot,
(as it states: “And I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob with (the name) Almighty Sh-ddai, but My name YHWH, I did not become known to them” – meaning that even the Avot did not merit the wondrous virtue of this revelation, “ (as it states: My name YHWH), I did not become known to them”.
for the revelation to the Avot was just with the name “Almighty Sh-ddai” which represents the way G-d contracts His Essence according to the world). For this is the meaning of “Almighty Sh-ddai/א־ל שד־י״” – namely G-d said to His world “it is sufficient/dai” contrary to the name YHVH – which is the name of G-d’s Essence (Sheim HaEtzem) as it is above the boundaries of the world, Omnipresent (״הי׳ הוה ויהי׳ ברגע אחד״ ) –
Because for this level, there must be the special preparation of descending into Galut.
3. Accordingly we find that in G-d's words to Moshe:
“And I appeared to Abraham etc. ..”
the foundation and primary aspect of the redemption of Mitzrayim is explained:
For not only is the essence of this Geulah
(namely that it is not just a physical redemption but mainly)
a spiritual redemption from the condition of servitude to the Egyptians and transition to a condition of freedom and service to G-d,
(as the verse states: that “when you bring the people out of Egypt--- you will serve El-him on this mountain”, which means that the purpose of Yetzias Mitzrayim is serving G-d by accepting Torah and its Mitzvot) .
But even more so - the function and purpose of this spiritual redemption is the revelation and knowledge of the name of YHVH.
According to this we can understand on a deeper level the reason that the verse elaborated concerning the Avot -
“And I appeared to Abraham . . with (the name) Almighty Sh-ddai, but My name YHWH, I did not become known to them”.
For his emphasizes, that notwithstanding the greatness of the Avodah of the Avot,
as the Sages state: “The Avot are the chariot” (HaAvos hein hein ha'merkava” – Note; meaning that they are the vehicle for G-dliness).
nevertheless it is still not a condition of Geulah.
However “Yetzias Mitzrayim”, is connected (to Geulah) in that there is a knowledge in “My name YHWH”
(which was not known to the Avot).
And because of that reason the verse specifies each of the Avot individually
(and does not state concisely: “To your forefathers etc.)” - and it also separates between them with the word “To” –
to additionally emphasize the virtue of the individual Avodah of the Avot.
In other words:
The reason that they are (called) the “Avot” of Bnei Yisroel is not because of the individual virtue (המיוחדת) of each of the Avot, but rather because of the commonality between them. Moreover, the reason that they are the “Avot” of Bnei Yisroel is an aspect that came from Above. (namely, that G-d gave them the merit, in reward for their Avodah, that they would be the Avot of all Bnei Yisroel)
However when the names Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are individually delineated, this stresses the unique virtue of each of the Avot.
(as is known –
Notwithstanding (their individual greatness) since they did not have the revelation and knowledge of the “name YHWH” - “My name YHWH, I did not become known to them”, this is not a (complete) condition of Geulah.
4. The explanation is:
“Mitzrayim” is from the word “Meitzarim” – constriction and boundaries. And the import of this is that in “Mitzrayim/constriction” there is holiness. For since man was created with limitations, even when he serves G-d with all his might, he still has not yet gone out of his constraint and boundaries (even if he is entirely in an environment of holiness).
And the aspect of “Yetzias Mitzrayim”, going out of Egypt, is going out of one’s constraint and boundaries, even in holy matters, so that the person attains a level of being completely nullified (״בחי׳ ביטול לגמרי״). So much so that “He does no feel himself at all . . and he does not consider himself at all (״ואינו תופס מקום לעצמו כלל״ ).
This type of Bitul/self-abnegation is not in the power of a person to achieve of his own accord.
(similar to the maxim that a “a prisoner cannot free himself from jail” (אין חבוש מתיר עצמו)).
But rather this comes from a revelation of G-d from Above -and in this specifically – from the name of YHVH, meaning, from the essence of G-d as He is above the boundaries of the world.
For when exposed to this tremendous revelation, the person becomes nullified from his being/metzius, and this lifts him above his constraints and boundaries, even from his “constraints” in holiness.
(This however, was not manifest by the Avot. For since “My name YHWH, I did not become known to them”, they did not experience “Yetzias Mitzrayim” – the (complete) going out of constraints and boundaries).
5. And this is the eternal lesson for each and every Jew – even in the time of Galut.
It is known that each and every individual is able to reach a condition of Geulah and redemption in his spiritual Avodah, even before Klal Yisroel is redeemed.
(for at that time, the complete Geulah and redemption will be manifested even in actual physicality).
In this. however, it is possible, that a person could have difficulties in determining whether he is in a state of “Galut” or whether he has already merited “Geulah”. For it is possible that he thinks that if he overpowers his inclination (yetzer) and devotes himself to Torah study and the keeping of Mitzvot – and that he conducts all his mundane affairs (דברי הרשות) “for the sake of Heaven” – that he must certainly have merited a “redemption“ and spiritual Geulah.
This is why the verse states:
“And I appeared to Abraham . . but My name YHWH, I did not become known to them.”.
For it is possible to be a person who serves G-d, and even so much so that he can be a “Merkava/vehicle for G-dliness” – and not only that but he serves G-d in all the three areas of Torah, Avodah and Gemilut Chasadim – and each one of the areas that he serves in is complete – nevertheless as long as the name YHWH, which is above nature, does not illuminate him, he still has not left Egypt and this is not a state of Geulah.
6. However, how does one know if he has indeed merited the revelation of the name YHWH in his soul?
Rashi therefore answers on the verse:
“My name YHWH, I did not become known to them” that:
"I was not recognized by them by My attribute of truth, the reason for which My Name is called YHWH “,
meaning that the revelation of the “name YHWH” was not to the Avot, for “I was not recognized by them by My true attribute”.
The essence of the attribute of truth is – the negation of change. This is as mentioned the Talmud Yerushalmi that the “seal of G-d is truth”.
For concerning the three letters of truth/Emet (א׳מ׳ת׳)
as it says: “I am the first, and I am the last, and beside Me there is no G-d”.
In other words, the aspect of “Emet” is that exists in all place – in the beginning, middle and end- equally and without change, as it states: “For I, the L-rd, have not changed”.
(and this is the explanation of “beside Me there is no G-d” that there no concealment and hiddenness from the name Elokim - the attribute of Din and constraints).
And this is the test if a person has attained a state of true “Yetzias Mitzrayim”, going out of all constraint - when one’s Avodah is above change.
In other words, there is no difference at all in whatever aspect he is occupied with: Torah study, Prayer, keeping Mitzvot or whether his mundane affairs for the sake of Heaven – in each and every aspect of his Avodah it is with the same absolute Bitul to G-d’s will, without change.
The power for this is by having the name YHWH, My attribute of truth, illuminate within him:
(“I am the first, and I am the last, and beside Me there is no G-d”.).
For this effects within the person, such a Bitul, that is not tied to and constrained by the particulars of the forms of Avodah. But rather, in all of them, the essential Bitul to G-d is illuminated within him, above constraint and change.
(This is like the Torah of the Baal Shem Tov on the verse:
“I have set (shaviti) the L-rd always before me” –
that the word: “set (shaviti)” is from the word equal (hishtavut) – meaning that “everything is equal to him” and he serves G-d “with all his strength” and “in all ways”.
For this equanimity (hishtavut) comes from that which “the L-rd/ YHVH (is) always before me”.
For when the name YHWH illuminated within the person in a revealed manner, this effect “equanimity“ in all his affairs)
7. Just as this concerns Geulah from Mitzrayim – so too does it concern the Future Geulah. For the essential aspect of Geulah is not just physical redemption, and not just general spiritual Geulah (redemption from the Yetzer Hara) but - the revelation of the name YHWH.
And this is the profound intent of Rambam in the conclusion of his Sefer, in describing the condition of the world “At that time” –
“The occupation of the entire world will be solely to know G-d. Therefore, the Jews will be great sages and know the hidden matters, grasping the knowledge of their Creator according to the full extent of human potential, it states: 'The world will be filled with the knowledge of G-d as the waters cover the ocean bed."
In the beginning of his Sefer HaYad, when Rambam explains the Mitzvah of the knowledge of G-d, he does not mention the name YHVH explicitly. He just writes:
“The foundation of all foundations and the pillar of wisdom is to know that there is a Primary Being etc.”
Yet here (at the conclusion) Rambam emphasizes:
“to know G-d” and he also cites the verse: “it states: 'The world will be filled with the knowledge of G-d/YHVH””
The reason is because at that time there will be knowledge of the of the name YHWH. And in this itself, the highest level thereof (as stated in the expression of Kabbalah and Chassidut – Havaye d’leEilah” (״הוי׳ דלעילא״י), Who effects the epitome of complete Bitul.
And this is why Rambam concludes:
“(for the world will be filled with the knowledge of G-d) as the waters cover the ocean bed.”
For the revelation of the name YHWH will effect that one does not see the existence of the world at all. For it will be completely Bitul from the tremendous revelation, so much so that it will be covered with the “knowledge of G-d - as the waters cover the ocean bed”.
m’Sichas Shabbat Parshat Va’eira 5721
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