Tuesday, January 04, 2011

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A Single Revelation

From the sefer Noam Elimilech, - Translated by Rabbi Tal Zwecker, Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim, Published with permission @ Mystical Paths

And I appeared to Avraham, to Yitzchak and to Yaakov as E'l Shad-ai yet by My name Hashem I did not make Myself known to them. (Shemos 6:3)

Va'eirah - Rashi in his commentary to this verse (Shemos 6:3) explains "I appeared to the patriarchs," and at first glance Rashi's meaning is obscure, what does Rashi mean by this comment? Is it not obvious that Hashem is saying that He appeared to the patriarchs? The verse explicitly says that Hashem appeared to Avraham and Yitzchak [and Yaakov] and we know that they are the ones known as the Patriarchs - the Avos?! It seems to me to explain Rashi's intentions is as follows:

Avraham [served Hashem with] the attribute of Chessed and loving kindness, whereas Yitzchak [served Hashem with] the attribute of Gevurah - might and power and Ya'akov [served Hashem with] the attribute of Tiferes - beauty and they were each one different [in how they served Hashem] than the other, each with their own personal attribute. If so, one might wonder how is it possible that the same G-d revealed Himself through the Divine name E"l Shad"ai to all of them? Isn't the way of revelation that based on each prophet's level of prophecy and spirituality and based on his own personal level of serving Hashem the holy spirit of ruach hakodesh rests on him from above?

(In other words if each one of the avos, our forefathers - the patriarchs were on such a different level that they served Hashem in each in their own individual way with different attributes, should they not have received different prophetic visions and experiences of the Almighty? How is it then that the same revelation of the Almighty as E"l Shad"ai was revealed to all three of them? This puzzling question is what Rashi is addressing in his commentary.)

Now the root of the matter is that coming from the Creator's perspective, there is no change at all ever. Hashem is eternal and unchanging. However from a person's perspective things are different. Based on his own personal level of avodas Hashem, so will he draw down from on high [levels of holiness and revelation]. We find therefore that Avraham drew down unto himself the attribute of Chessed, and Yitzchak his attribute [of Gevurah], and Yaakov his attribute [of Tiferes].

However from Hashem's perspective it is all one and the same since He is a totally unified and a simple unity that is unchanging. This is what Rashi meant by saying "And I revealed myself to the Avos - the patriarchs." This says that from the Creator's perspective there is no difference whatsoever between each form of service and each level and attribute that the prophet is on and serving with. Still nonetheless it is all one unified whole and therefore the same G-d was able to reveal Himself with same attribute as the Almighty E"l Shad"ai [to each of the Avos even though they served Him differently]. This is simple to understand.

1 comment:

  1. a guy doesnt put on tefillin for 1 year not 40 is lucky to be alive.


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