(Haftara: Ezekiel 28:25-29:21)
1. [6:3] “I appeared to Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya’akov as “El Shadai, but my name…” The different names of God are different revelations of the one God. What does it mean that there are different revelations of God? Do people also show different revelations of themselves to other people?
2. [6:4] “I set up my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan…” The land of Canaan (Israel) is on a trading route between Africa, Europe and Asia. It is a crossroads of different cultures. Why is this crossroads a suitable place for a development of God’s society of Torah?
4. [7:5] “…and I took the children of Israel out…” The Chassidic texts tell us that there were sparks of Godliness trapped in Egypt and Israel went down to Egypt in order to raise up the sparks. The sparks are the potential for Godliness which is hidden and trapped. What everyday acts of ours bring Godly potential into expression.
1. [7:17] “…and the water will turn to blood.” Blood is a recurring image in the Torah. We may not drink blood. We may not have sexual relations after a woman’s period. We sprinkle blood of sacrifices etc. What does blood represent to us?
2. [Haftara: Yechezkel 29:3] “Pharoah…the big dragon that lies in the middle of his rivers, who said to me, ‘ I made it for myself’.” This is how God describes Pharoah. Pharoah is self-centered and selfish. In Pirkay Avot, it says, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me…? (Pirkay Avot 1:14) What is so bad about being selfish and self-centered?
The Messiah will judge each person in such a favourable light, that the light of goodness in that person will awake…The most successful way to bring a person back to God is through encouragement and praise.
–R. Ya’akov M. Shechter, born 1932, Jerusalem.
This study page is dedicated to the memory of Rivkah Rochel bat Ya’akov haLevi and Chaya Kornberg, and Yechiel Eliezer ben Yitzchok Meir and Rochel Laya Kornberg
And to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava–Eli Zucker