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    Revealing the Divine Name – Va’era

    The sidra begins with HaShem telling Moses His personal four-letter Name (Ex. 6:2). God states that until now the name by which He had made Himself known was the Hebrew title E-l Sha-ddai, which means “powerful Deity”. The four-letter Name spelt Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey was not yet formally revealed to the people.

    What was special about that four-letter Name that its introduction had to be delayed?

    The Name is explained by rabbinic tradition as “God of loving mercy”. Until now the nation had mostly seen the immense creative power and strength of the Almighty but now it was time for them to see His love, forgiveness and concern manifested in their midst.

    The earlier chapters (e.g. the Akedah, Gen. 22) sometimes did use the four-letter Name but that is because ein mukdam um’uchar baTorah, the narrative is not always strictly chronological.

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