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    Who is God? – Va’era

    God told Moses to convey a message to Pharaoh, “Let My people go!” Pharaoh replied, “Who is God that I should listen to His voice?”

    An impertinent answer? Why did Moses have to prove who God was? Because Pharaoh thought he was God himself.

    Egypt was a land where the river Nile was a deity, where there were dozens or even hundreds of gods, and it is no wonder that the ruler thought that he was not only godlike, not only a god, but the presiding Presence of the pantheon.

    The ultimate chutzpah of this Hebrew hero Moses was to posit a new non-Egyptian god who did not even have a face, an appearance, a bodily form.

    Not a new problem, since things have been like this throughout history. Material things were deified, kings thought they were gods, and the Jewish God kept saying, “I am God even if no-one can see Me!”

    Moses himself (perhaps in a moment of doubt) wanted a glimpse of God, and all he got was an answer that said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you and you will see the effect I leave behind” (Ex. 33:23).

    There are – and always have been – many visible “pretend” gods, but they have left no trace behind them. It’s only the invisible God who has enriched the world with His principles of truth, justice and peace.

    Rulers and leaders have echoed Pharaoh’s question, “Who is God?” God has probably laughed to Himself and said, “Try My ethics – and that’s where you will find Me!”

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