May 16, 2024
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In the first verse of this week’s Parsha, Vaera, two different names of Hashem are used. It says, “and Elohim spoke to Moshe and said to him, I am Ad-ni.” In a Rashi in Bereishit, Rashi explains that the different names of Hashem have to do with His attributes. The name Ad-ni is to show Hashem as the God of mercy but the name Elohim is to show that He is a God of judgment. When creating the world, Hashem was only a God who acted with judgment but as time went on, He started to act with mercy.

So why is it that this verse in the Parsha says that the God who uses His attribute of judgment is saying that I am the merciful God? Just like a parent needs to rebuke their child, God needs to rebuke us, His children. So too, a parent’s love for a child no matter what they do is always there especially when that parent is Hashem. While parents rebuke their children, they also tend to be merciful because they love their children. Hashem is telling Moshe to tell the Jewish people, “while I have been judging you all with judgment, because I am a parent, judgment comes with mercy.” He is telling the Jewish people to remember that Hashem is there and that He is merciful and even though they may not deserve help, He will help because He is their father and loves them. Both the judgment and mercy that God gives comes from a place of love and He is only trying to do what is best for them.

Nowadays we may go through struggles as a nation or even on a personal level, but whenever we encounter struggles, we must remember that Hashem acts upon judgment and mercy both from a place of love and does what is necessary for us at that time. We may not know if it is Hashem judging us according to the law or Him being merciful but regardless, it is all out of love and to make us better people.

By Shira Sedek

 

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