This week, our Parshat HaShevua — Parshat Va’era is being sponsored by Binyamin and Tracy Skriloff and dedicated for a total, complete refuah shlaima for Binyamin’s neice Zeesa Baila bat Mindel Pescha. To Mishpochat Skriloff, many thanks for your sponsorship and for your continued kindnesses.
You can celebrate a Simcha — a birth, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, a Chassuna or other Simcha event in your life, or commemorate a Yahrtzeit of a loved one, or for whatever other reason by sponsoring a Parshat HaShevua.
Please forward to your relatives and friends and encourage them to sponsor a Parshat HaShevua. And please be in contact with me with any questions, or for further details.
Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch z”l in the new Hirsch Chumash (published by Feldheim in 2005 and translated to English by Daniel Haberman) renders Sefer Sh’mos, Perek 6, posukim 1-3 (pages 79-81 — the last posuk of Parshat Sh’mos and the opening posukim of Parshat Va’eira:
“Hashem said to Moshe: Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh; for by a strong hand will he let them go, Indeed, by a strong hand will he drive them out of his land.”
“Hashem spoke to Moshe and said to him: I am Hashem.”
“[And was so] even when I appeared to Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov as the All-Sufficing G’d but had not become known to them as that which My Name [Hashem] Signifies.”
The Sapirstein Edition Chumash with Rashi explains, and provides commentary in footnote #6 relating to Perek 6, posuk 2; “…I am Hashem”:
Rashi on the posuk: “I am Hashem” means ‘I am faithful to exact payment…’
This Divine Name implies that G’d is eternal. It contains within it the words, “He was, He is, He will be.” Because He is eternal, He is not subject to the strictures of time, but is able to punish or reward at whatever time He desires to do so.
Thus, the Name implies that he is faithful to exact payment and to give reward. (Gur Aryeh)
This seems to refer back to commentary of The Manchester Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Yehuda Zev Segal, Sh’lita, z”l regarding Chanukah in his sefer, “Inspiration and Insight,” Discourses on the Holidays (pages 104-105):
The Greeks wanted the Jewish people to forsake their Torah way of life in favor of their [the Greek] own culture which glorified the physical and extolled indulgence in temporal pleasures. The Greeks were quite content to allow the Jews to remain alive — as long as they abandon those mitzvot which are at the core of Jewish belief. This decree, writes Bach, (based on a Baraisa) was, in fact, a Divine retribution for the Jews having become lax in their mitzvah observance. The mesiras nefesh, self- sacrifice of the Chashmonaim to preserve Torah life and restore the service to the Beit Hamikdash brought about the great miracle of their victory over the Greeks and the discovery of the flask of oil which miraculously burned for eight days. Thus, Chanukah is a celebration of the spirit, a yom tov which commemorates a victory of the spirit led by warriors of the spirit, the Chashmonaim.
Thus we learn about reward and punishment which we have come to know well throughout our history.
The Sapirstein Edition Chumash with Rashi continues with further Rashi commentary on Perek 6, posuk 2:
…When it is stated in the context of fulfillment of the commandments, for example , “And you will keep My commandments and perform them, I am Hashem.” (Sefer Vayikra, Perek 22, posuk 31) It means, “I am faithful to give reward.” (Toras Kohanim, Acharei 9:1)
The Artscroll Stone Chumash provides additional commentary on Perek 6, posuk 2 from both Rashi and Or HaChaim (page 319):
Rashi explains that “Hashem”, the Name revealed to Moshe, represents G’d as thr One who carries out His promises, for G’d was now prepared to fulfill His pledge to free Israel and bring them to the Land. But although the Patriarchs were told that G’d’s Name was Hashem, they had not seen Him in practice as having kept His promise, for the time had not come for the Land to be given to them. Nevertheless, they [the Patriarchs] had perfect faith that when the proper time arrived, He would do so.
Or HaChaim commented that G’d’s essence is represented by the Name Hashem. Even though the Patriarchs knew that Name, only Moshe had the degree of prophecy that enabled him to comprehend its significance to the highest degree possible for man.
The question in our times is, when the reward? When are we deemed worthy? When is His desired time to fully Redeem us in Our Eretz Yisrael? How much longer must we endure subversive governance: governance seemly dedicated on all levels, including the military, to the subordination and subversion among the governed of belief in and the Will of Hashem?
May we, the B’nei Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them at leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized gunpoint, that our dear brother Jonathan Pollard be liberated and truly free — only upon his return home to Israel, and that Sholom Rubashkin, as well as the MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem, as should the remains of the two chayalim from the Gaza War of two and a half years ago. May we have the courage and strength to stand up and physically prevent the possibility of Chas V’Challila any future eviction of Jews from their homes and prevent Chas V’Challila the handing of Jewish land over to anyone, let alone to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nai Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Ki Karov Yom Hashem Al’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bimhayrah b’yamainu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!
Moshe Burt, an Oleh, is a commentator on news and events in Israel and Founder and Director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.