VA’EIRA I appeared (to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob)

Exodus 6:2-3. And Elohim spoke to Moses and said to him, I am יהוה.  And I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob, by the name of El Shaddai, but by My name יהוה I was not known to them.  C-MATS

Question: What was יהוה saying to Moses? יהוה rebuked Moses harshly: Many times I revealed Myself to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and they did not question My ways, nor did they say to me, “What is Your name?” You questioned My ways and asked from the start, “What is Your name?” and now you are saying to Me, “You have not saved Your people!” unlike Abraham, to whom I said, “Isaac will be considered your seed” and then I said to him, “Raise him up to Me as an offering” — still, he did not question Me.”  The Patriarchs only knew Me by El Shaddai (sufficient), you know Me by יהוה and yet you question Me. The Patriarchs never saw miracles and yet they had faith in Me. Moses would soon witness miracles of a magnitude that dwarfed anything the Patriarchs had ever seen. (Chumash)

Question: Why was Moses’ arrival in Egypt followed by an immediate intensification of the slavery of the Israelites? The Egyptians could not be punished until their “measure of sin” was full. יהוה is patient even with the wicked. By Pharaoh’s cruel decree to deny straw to the slaves, Pharaoh had reached his lowest point and so the process of the exodus and the punishment of Egypt could now begin. (Chumash)

4 And I have also established אֶת־ My covenant אִתָּם with them, to give them אֶת־ the land of Canaan, אֵת the land of their pilgrimage, in which they were strangers. 5 And I have also heard אֶת־ the groaning of the Children of Israel, אֹתָם whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered אֶת־ My covenant. C-MATS

Question: We should not rely on miracles. What does this mean? Not to rely on miracles means that we should try our best to live according to what appear to be the rules of nature and not take foolish chances, such as running across a busy highway and assuming that יהוה will cause the speeding cars to miss us. However, this doesn’t preclude hoping and even praying for unlikely events or even miracles to happen. Nothing is beyond יהוה‘s ability, and the more deeply we realize it, the more miracles יהוה will reveal in our lives.

Question: Can a person’s hopeful attitude have any effect on the events around him, or do things just happen however they do in spite of how we feel? Our attitude affects reality in many ways. Firstly, a positive attitude gives us additional energy to help us think more clearly and act more effectively to reach our goal. But in a deeper sense, יהוה designed life in a way that we, through our attitudes, can have a say upon how we perceive events, and even to an extent upon their outcome. A positive, hopeful attitude can really be the key to living a life full of miracles.

#14 Vaera