Vaiera - Reaching Inner Potential

The parshah with the verse.

"And thus spoke G-d (Elokim) to Moshe, and said to him 'I am Hashem (YKVK)'" (Shmot 6:2)

It is a very interesting verse to begin the parshah. Rashi explains the statement "and said to him 'I am Hashem (YKVK)'" saying that this means "(G-d) is considered reliable to pay a good reward for those that go before Him, and I didn't send you for nothing."

What does Rashi come to explain in this verse?
Why in one verse is G-d described in several different ways, through different names?
Why is Moshe referred to by name, then a word later referred to again as 'to him'?

The Kli Yakar carefully analyzes and weighs the presence of every word in this verse. He says that the phrase 'to him' is completely not necessary for this verse, since the verse already mentions the name Moshe. And the verse should be explained according to Cha'zal.
"He is called Moshe, not because he was borne from the water,  because Moshe is a present tense name. The spirit of G-d spoke to  Pharaoh's daughter telling her to call him Moshe, as a language of pulling or taking. He will be the one to pull Israel out of exile (out of the proud waters [Tehilim: 124:5]).
"Had Moshe inspected his name, then he would have known the truth that only by him would Israel be redeemed, and he wouldn't have started negotiating with G-d"

This refers to what we discussed in parshah Shmot regarding Moshe and how he questioned G-d's promises (see Shmot - Darkest Before the Dawn), where G-d was very critical of Moshe's perceived lack of faith.

And the Kli Yakar continues "Although, from that episode, we can learn merit from Moshe in how humble he was and he was critical of his speaking abilities and didn't feel that he was appropriate for the mission G-d was sending him on."

Understanding this, the Kli Yakar goes on to explain the purpose of every word in this verse.
  • "And thus spoke" - a tough language (וידבר)
  • "G-d (Elokim)" - the language of the characteristic of judgment
  • "to Moshe" - this means that he is suitable to be judged for not checking his name, Moshe, and understanding that the inherent meaning of his name is that he would pull and take Israel from the exile. And out of this, Moshe wouldn't have had to say "why do You mistreat Your people?" (Shmot 5:22).

Hashem is filled with mercy.
  • "and said" - is a softer way of speaking (ויומר)
  • "to him" - for his essence, since after he was critical of himself of not being a good speaker he had said to G-d "Why did You send me?" (Shmot 5:22). And the purpose of the phrase "to him" was to respond to Moshe with 'I am the G-d of mercy', since His name and His essence mutually contradict
  • "I am Hashem (YKVK)" - thus G-d said this showing he is full of compassion to judge Moshe favorably.

Two names of G-d, show G-d's different aspects from the absolute judge, to the most compassionate defender. One name of Moshe describing two eras from literally being taken from water to himself taking the people of Israel from the darkest exile.

All of the rebuke and criticism aimed at Moshe from the end of the previous parshah was essentially directed towards Moshe's lack of faith, not in G-d, but in himself. His grand humbleness bordered on lack of self-esteem, denying his essential fate - as signified by his name - and threatening to not realize the potential that he bore within.

In one verse, all of the rebuke is present in the opening verse to this parshah, and also G-d's change to compassion is apparent, appreciating Moshe's humble spirit as well. So Rashi is explaining in the words "I didn't send you for nothing" to both answer Moshe's question of "Why did You send me?" and emphasize that the great potential that Moshe carries in him was not created in vain, and should be utilized to its fullest.

Throughout our own lives we constantly question our purpose or the purpose of the predicaments that we find ourselves in. Even in these trying and dark moments, where we feel we can't go forward or can't get out of these places, we have to look at ourselves and realize that we were created with an amazing potential that is carried within, and at these moments, our most challenging moments, it is not for us to question our existence but to tap that inner potential and realize our destiny.

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