Shemot by Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron                                                           בס"ד

לשכנו תדרשו

Discover the Holy Presence in the Holy Land

I Shall Be as I Shall Be

One of the unique names of God that appears only three times in the Torah, and also exclusively in this parsha, is the name Ehyeh, meaning “I will be,” best known in the phrase in this parsha “I Shall Be as I Shall Be.” This enigmatic name is considered by the Kabbalists to express one of the higher levels, and also more hidden/mysterious, of the Divine Direction and conduct. They explain that this Name is greatly involved with the future tense, implying that matters will not be revealed or be manifest to the receiver now, but only in the future. Therefore, when God wants to express a more “hidden,” but yet at the same time dominant, connection to the world, this Name is used.

The Zohar (III 65b) explains that this Name also connotes “I will give birth,” so-to-speak. This idea again describes a future-oriented expression but allows us to understand that this “future” is associated with a process of development, similar to an expectant mother awaiting birth. Indeed, the Kabbalists tie the concept of repentance, where one is “born again,” to this Name. In other words, a dominant theme of repentance is setting a future-oriented lofty goal, that at this point, is “hidden” and “aloof” from grasp and raising oneself gradually through a process of development towards that goal. Although we said that God’s Name Ehyeh is only mentioned in this parsha in the Torah, nevertheless we find hints to this Name in the book of Breshit in two instances where God uses this term, in the verb sense “I will be with you,” when talking to our Patriarchs Yitzhak and Yakov (Br. 26, 3 and 31, 3). Fascinatingly, the verb usage (not as a Name) in both instances is brought in the context of Hashem’s “being [in the future] with” our Patriarchs in the Holy Land. This association of the Land of Israel to the term “ehyeh” and ultimately also to God’s Name “Ehyeh” – linked to the concept of “future-oriented birth and return to God,” beautifully shows the conceptualization of the Holy Land as the Land of Rebirth and Return to God, as we have shown in previous discussions.

After we have discovered this, Hashem’s promise to take Israel out of Egypt and bring them to the Holy Land He promised to the Patriarchs, using the Name Ehyeh, is understood on a much deeper level: Hashem is saying that I will bring you to be reborn on a national level in the Holy Land. This is done through the promise to our Patriarchs of Hebron to give their offspring this Land, and to whom, the Patriarchs themselves were also assured by this very same word “Ehyeh” to receive Divine Aid in returning/settling in the Land of Israel. Indeed, it is Hebron, the home-city of our People in this Land, and City of our Patriarchs, that constantly reminds us that Hebron and the Holy Land are always our home waiting and “expecting” us to return to throughout the stretches of ages.

Real Miracles
Ezekiel 38:12, 13 predicts that Israel will become an economic envy of the nations. Israel has witnessed an explosion in both hi-tech developments and the number of contracts Israeli hi-tech companies have signed with manufacturers worldwide. Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “The failure of Soviet communism to capitalize on the outstanding R & D skills of the Russian Jews was a stroke of good fortune for Israel. We now have the highest per capita of scientists in the world. This has put Israel on the cutting edge of technology.” The New York Stock Exchange lists more hi-tech companies from Israel than any other nation. Source: Israel Nation of Miracles

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