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Prayer Skills-Vaeira-Joy and Fear

“The Lord spoke to Moses and said to him, ‘I am God’ (Exodus 6:2).” Why does the Torah not tell us what the Lord said when He spoke? Why he does God referred to Himself as God after He had already told Moses Who He was in 3:15? At that time, He added: “This is My name forever!” Why then, did He have to tell Moses at this juncture, “I am God?”


Inasmuch as Moses had spoken in an unseemly manner in the presence of the Almighty, something that he never would have dared to do if God had not previously shown Moses Is smiling face as represented by the attribute, “God,” He had to show him a different attribute, “The Lord,” before answering Moses in detail. The Torah introduces this conversation by letting us know that God spoke in His capacity as the attribute of Justice, “The Lord.”

When God appears to make a turnabout at the end of our verse and refers to Himself as the attribute of Mercy, this is in line with the principle expressed in the Talmud that “Wherever there is joy in one’s relationship with God, there must be simultaneous fear and dread (Berachot 30).” Although God had previously displayed His attribute of Mercy, this did not mean that man should not display an appropriate degree of trepidation when facing Him. (Ohr Hachaim haKadosh)

We constantly refer to God through out our prayers as “God,” and, “The Lord.” We should use these different Attributes to balance our sense of joy in our relationship with God and the appropriate fear and trepidation of, “The Lord.”

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