An Optical Illusion
[Editor’s note: As a memory of my beloved brother Shaya, I would like to continue sending out his pearls of wisdom that he has shared with all of you in the past. For some of you this may ring a bell and for others it may appear to be totally new. May the learning of Shaya’s Divrei Torah inspire us to change our ways and thereby give an Aliya to the neshama of our dear beloved Shaya whom we miss so much. A special thank you to Aaron Friedman for always looking over the divrei torah.]
Parshas Shemos ends with a seemingly dark ‘end note’ by Moshe failing in his mission to end the servitude of Bnei Yisroel under Pharaoh. In fact, the servitude intensifies, Moshe is bewildered, and G-d reassures Moshe that He will free the Yidden, but the Parsha ends there, with Moshe not understanding how and when that will occur.
This week’s Parsha begins with the verse ‘And Elokim spoke to Moshe and said I am Hashem.’ What does this Pasuk mean? Why does G-d’s name change from “Elokim to Hashem?”
I think the explanation is as follows: We are taught that ‘Elokim’ is associated with the Mida of Din-[strict judgment], whereas ‘Hashem’ is associated with the Mida of Rachamim-[mercy]. Hence, G-d is saying to Moshe ‘now I will show you that what you thought was strict judgment is really absolute Rachamim and will be for your benefit.’
Parshas Va’era then discusses the first seven Makos, which are the prelude to the amazing exodus from Egypt, where we left slavery, loaded with the riches of Egypt, on our way to Matan Torah, the greatest moment in all of history.
We all go through difficult times where things don’t seem to make sense. At times, our efforts to grow and work on issues seem to make things worse, just as it seemed to Moshe at the end of last week’s Parsha.
Perhaps the Torah specifically ended last week’s Parsha at that point to teach us this lesson about life. No matter how difficult the situation that we are dealing with is, there will always be a new ‘parsha’ where everything will make perfect sense. Sometimes we merit to see it ourselves in our lifetime and sometimes we have to wait for Yemos Hamoshiach to understand it, but there is always another chapter which will reveal to us that everything was Rachamim and for our benefit.
May we all merit to see that clear ’20/20 vision’ of our mission and purpose in life very soon.
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