Student Teaching in the New Millenium

5771 Waera

In Exodus on January 13, 2011 at 2:21 am

So the Matriarchs and Patriarchs, knew “Adonai”, possibly as an honorific, but not as a Name of God.  Moses learns in Waera that “Adonai” is itself a name of God, emphasizing the Reliability & Faithfulness aspect of God’s nature.  I think Ezekiel reads it as Justice, for the fulfillment of promises to the Israelites, and the executed punishments on the Egyptians. Yet Moses calls on the power of the Name to slay an Egyptian by Rashi’s reading before Moses knows that “Adonai” is a Name, and not just an honorific.  So I infer that Rashi believes that to know a Name is to know what a Name contains.  But I have a question:  Rashi, how could Moses know the Name if no one before him knew the Name?  Was it simply an accident?  Or did Moses have something that none of the other Israelites possessed?

How is Moses’ use of the name an expression of Faithfulness? Reliability? Can it be called an expression of Justice?

Is it testimony to Moses’ sense of Justice, protecting the oppressed?
Is it some “magic” learned in Pharoah’s court?
Or is it Imagination?  Did Moses partner with God in creating this manifestation of His nature, Justice?

Why do the plagues read to us like a set up? Why were they necessary? Why do they read contrary to peace?

Why does God first say to introduce Him as “I Am” and then revise this to “I am the Lord”? Why not start with “I am the Lord”? Why is the repetition needed?


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