Vaera by Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron בס"ד
Discover the Holy Presence in the Holy Land
This parsha opens with an elaboration on the specific Name God uses in His revelation towards our Patriarchs and Moshe Rabeinu in the context of the Exodus. What is the significance of what specific Name is used? As we discussed last week, in regard to the Name Ehyeh, the Kabbalists explain that the specific Name used refers to a unique type of connection and direction between God and man or the world.
In this parsha God tells Moshe that His primary/main Name is Havaya, although He related to the patriarchs by the Name “El Shadai.” Simply explained, the Name “El” represents God’s attribute of kindness and benevolence, as it says the “kindness of El is throughout the day.” Versus this is the Name of “Shadai,” implying limitation of this kindness, for according to one of our Sages’ interpretations this Name refers to God saying “enough” in Creation – Sheamar Leolamo Dai.” It may be said that between these two extremes stands the Main Name Havaya, which represents a “middle path” encompassing and including the other Divine Paths/Names. The Name Havaya is also the deepest of all Names, acting like a soul towards a body, if we compare the other Names to be the “body” in this analogy. Essentially, when God tells Moshe that He is called by the “soul/deep” Name Havaya, He is explaining that His Path/Name is deeper than what is superficially conceived, and therefore Moshe should not question His Direction in the Redemption, but rather be conscious to this deeper Divine Directive.
It is not for naught that the Name “El Shadai” has the exact numerical value as the name Moshe (345). Hashem is telling Moshe that indeed He did “appear” to the Patriarchs with the Name “El Shadai,” and this may also be the type of connection Moshe was accustomed, as his name carries the same numerical value as this Name of God. However, Moshe is called to go beyond this type of connection, also beyond himself, and connect to a deeper level of Divine Motion. This matter may also teach us in regard to our personal or national redemption to strive to go “beyond” our usual understanding to reach a deeper level of connection to the Divine.
Here we should note that there are many numerical links between these Divine Names, the Patriarchs’ names, and also the secret number of the “double Havaya (26) = 52,” related to Maarat Sdeh Hamachpela – “the Double Cave”, the pneumonic of which spells Moshe. For example, Avraham’s name equals eight times the name “El” mentioned above (31*8=248). Yitzhak’s name equals eight times the name “Havaya” (26*8=208). The number eight may hint to the eight couples at Maarat Hamachpela, of which Avraham and Yitzhak are part of. Yakov’s name is seven times “Havaya” (26*7=182), hinting also to him being the eighth individual to be buried after seven couples already buried before him in Maarat Hamachpela. The reason that, in Yakov’s case, only the seven preceding him are hinted to by the numerical value, may be due to the fact that Yakov is the “Patriarch of Completion” and also only when he was buried the number of eight couples was completed. Therefore Yakov himself is uncluded in the number, i.e seven (in his numerical value) plus one (Yakov outside of his numerical value). If we take the dominant Name “Havaya” and multiply it by the number ten, representing the ten Divine sefirot, we reach 260. Adding the number 52, the secret number of the “double Havaya (26) = 52,” related to Maarat Sdeh Hamachpela – “the Double Cave”, and adding two for the usage of two names (this is an accepted method in gematriya called kolel), i.e Havaya and the “Double Name,” we reach 314, the numerical value of “Shadai.” There is a much deeper explanation of all these numbers here, but a discussion of this is out of our scope here. Nevertheless, we decided to present some of the numbers here, so the reader will understand that the matters here are a lot “deeper” than what they may seem…
Barren land transformed to the fertility of ancient Israel is a miracle predicted in Scripture (Amos 9:14-15; Ezek. 36:34-35). It was long assumed that most of Palestine was wasteland, irreclaimable for agriculture. But archaeologists discovered the presence of more than 70 ancient settlement sites in one 65-mile stretch of the Jordan Valley alone, each with its own well for water. Lot, over 3,000 years ago, was not exaggerating when he “lifted up his eyes, and he saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere, even as the garden of the Lord” (Gen.13:10). New agricultural settlements—from Dan to Beersheba—have risen beside ancient sites reidentified by Biblical archaeologists. Concrete pumping stations were set over ancient springs or wells. A well from Abraham’s day now supplies water for residents on the outskirts of Beersheba. Source: Israel Nation of Miracles