Parshah Va’eira

Why does the Torah emphasize that El Shaddai is “The G-D of Avraham, Yitzchaq v’Yisrael” where merely HaShem or El Shaddai would be sufficient?
Doesn’t This Week’s Parshah (Va’eira) say, “I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob with [the name] Almighty God, but [with] My name YHWH, I did not become known to them.
“And if a man prevail against him that is alone, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
In the merit (zechut) of the Patriarchs (3.15), the Torah emphasizes that HaElohim – The G-D ([of Avraham, Yitzchaq v’Yisrael]) shall be served/worshiped as HaShem where Moshe first encountered HaShem! תַּֽעַבְדוּן֙ אֶת־הָ֣אֱלֹהִ֔ים עַ֖ל הָהָ֥ר הַזֶּֽה (Shmoth 3.12)

The G-D of the Patriarchs, (the G-D of all the earth) is referred to by Avinu Avraham as the Judge of all the Earth! The Patriarchs had a love for El Shaddai, the G-D of Justice: “That be far from Thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked, that so the righteous should be as the wicked; that be far from Thee; shall not the judge of all the earth do justly?” In that merit, Avraham is called the friend of HaShem!

Yeshayahu 41:8 But thou, Israel, [art] my servant,Ya’acov whom I have chosen, the seed of Avraham my friend.

“[…] but [with] My name YHWH – (the thirteen attributes of mercy Shmoth 34.6-7) I did not become known to them.” That is, the Torah emphasizes that HaShem is the One Who sends a rebuke (see below – Rashi to 7.1) “in order that Pharaoh and the Egyptians should have known that Our G-D, the G-D of all the earth is the only Deity! (Shmoth 7.5, 17, 8.6, 18, 9.14, 16, 20-21, 29): (As it says in the Pesach Machzor, [page 334] “the god the Egyptians worshiped, the Hebrews ate” cf. Shmoth 8.22 –
“Will we sacrifice the deity of the Egyptians before their eyes, and they will not stone us?“)
9.27 “So Pharaoh sent and summoned Moses and Aaron and said to them, “I have sinned this time. The Lord is the righteous One, and I and my people are the guilty ones.
Why didn’t Pharaoh “entreat” HaShem? (9.28) He admitted, as it says in verse 27 “[…] I have sinned this time. The Lord is the righteous One, and I and my people are the guilty ones.
It (7.1) says, “See, I have made you lord over Pharaoh….” Rashi: I have made you a lord over Pharaoh: Heb. אֱלֹהִים, a judge and a chastiser, to chastise him with plagues and torments. — [from Onkelos and Tanchuma, Va’era 9] And Aaron your brother, will be your speaker: Heb. נְבִיאֶ, as the Targum renders: מְתוּרְגְמָנָ, your interpreter. Every expression of נְבוּאָה (prophecy) denotes a man who publicly announces to the people words of reproof. It is derived from the root of “I create the speech (נִיב) of the lips” (Isa. 57:19); “speaks (יָנוּב) wisdom” (Prov. 10:31); “And he (Samuel) finished prophesying (מֵהִתְנַבוּת) ” (I Sam. 10:13). In Old French this is called predi(je) ir, advocate. — [based on Onkelos]
Moshe said (in Shmoth 9.30) “But you and your servants I know that you still do not fear the L-RD G-D;” even as Avinu Avraham says, “there is no fear of G-D in this place” – Where there is no fear of HaShem their protection is removed from them; as it says:
Only rebel not against the L-RD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us; their defense is removed from over them, and the L-RD is with us; fear them not.’
Moreover, it says –
Lying lips are an abomination to the L-RD; But they that deal truly are His delight.
He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, Even his prayer is an abomination.
Without the merit of righteous ancestors such as Avraham, Yitzchaq, v’Yisrael, the children of Cham were without an advocate (for the land) in the presence of HaShem!
And Moses said to him, “When I leave the city, I will spread my hands to the L-RD. The thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, in order that you know that the land is the L-RD’s.
(At first, HaShem says [calls] the Land of Egypt, Pharaoh’s; [Shmoth 6.11] but when he hardened his heart against HaShem and the Children of Yisrael he lost the right (or merit from his ancestor who knew and appointed Yoseph) to rule over Egypt.)
We read in: Devarim 12:1 “These are the statutes and the ordinances which you shall observe to do in the land which HaShem, the G-d of your fathers, has given you to possess.”

The sole claim to the land of Israel that a Jew possesses is that HaShem has promised it to our forefathers, Avraham, Yitzchaq, v’Yisrael.
See also:
Shmoth 32:11-14
Midrash Rabbah – Genesis LXX:8
Vayikra 26:40-45 “[…] Then will I remember my covenant with Ya’acov, and also my covenant with Yitzchaq, and also my covenant with Avraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.”
kol tov,
Yochanan Ezra ben Avraham

One thought on “Parshah Va’eira

  1. Zechut derives from the word zach, meaning pure or clear. (The Torah speaks of shemen zayit zach, pure olive oil.) From there it came to mean to be acquitted or to be right, particularly in a legal case, and then to mean merit or worthiness more generally.


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