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And I Will Take You as My People

VaEra Tav-Shin-Mem, January 1980

“And [God] spoke … ‘I am the Lord, and I appeared to Abraham in Shadai [the Almighty], but My name, Lord, I did not make Myself known to them. Therefore, tell the children of Israel, ‘I am the Lord.’’” We should understand the connection if He was not revealed to them by the name HaVaYaH[Lord], and why, therefore, was He revealed to him by the name HaVaYaH: “Therefore, tell the children of Israel, ‘I am the Lord.’”

What is the reason for sending Moses to bring them out of Egypt? “And I will take you as My people and I will be a God unto you.” What does it mean that He will be a God only to the people of Israel? What is He to the nations of the world?

Also, concerning what RASHI interprets “to the fathers,” he explains everything in the verse.

We should interpret that the order of revelations is from below upward, and any degree is the cause of the next degree. Thus, to the fathers, He appeared as Almighty, which is being content with little, for the smallest revelation was enough for them. Shadai [Almighty] means “Who said to His world, ‘ Dai [enough], expand no more.’”

In that respect, this pertains only to specific individuals who can advance while in doubt but are in a state of “for he desires mercy,” and whatever understanding and feeling they have in spirituality is enough for them to advance in the ways of the Creator. However, this manner cannot be given to the general public.

Therefore, now, because of cause of consequence, there is a revelation in the name HaVaYaH, and that revelation can be said to the general public so they will approach the Creator and emerge from the exile in Egypt. This is why the text says that since now there is revelation of the name HaVaYaH, “Tell the people of Israel, ‘I am the Lord.’” Afterward, the text continues, and by this we can interpret what RASHI interpreted, “And I appeared to the fathers,” meaning that the revelation to Abraham was the reason for the revelation for the name HaVaYaH, since father and son are cause and consequence, meaning that the revelation that the fathers had, in the name God Shadai, was later revealed as the name HaVaYaH.

This is the meaning of the words, “And I will take you as My people and I will be a God unto you.” The writing interprets the meaning of “unto you” and not to the nations of the world. It means “and you shall know that I am the Lord your God,” that I will give this knowledge only to you and not to the nations of the world.

“Who brings you out from under the afflictions of Egypt,” meaning that they were enslaved to Pharaoh king of Egypt and not to the Kedusha [holiness]. I will bring out of this suffering and you will be rewarded with knowing that “I am the Lord your God.”

This is the meaning of what we say in the songs: “All who delight in the Lord will be rewarded with much good.” It means that those who delight in a manner of being content with little, called Katnut[smallness/infancy], and will be happy with their share, will later be rewarded with much good. “Much” means Gadlut [greatness/adulthood], meaning that settling for little means that although he needs much, yet settles for little, this is the reason for the Gadlut.

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