I’m back! Did you miss me!? 😉
Despite the purported break that comes with the new year, it’s been busy in these parts. I have a longer post coming out later today, but in the meantime, I’ve got a shorter comment on this week’s regularly scheduled Torah portion, Parshat Va’era.
Where are we in the story in this portion? Moses, we are told, has encountered Yahweh in the desert and made some initial forays into Egypt to try to free the Israelites. We are also told that these efforts have failed. And then we come to this passage, at the very beginning of the portion:
And God spoke to Moses, and said to him, “I am Yahweh; I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El Shaddai–but my name, Yahweh, I did not make known to them” (Ex. 6:2-3).
(“Hey, Humanistic Jew,” you’re thinking, “why uppercase ‘God'”? Because it’s used as a proper noun in this context.)
Now, there’s a problem here. The statement in verse 3–“but my name, Yahweh, I did not make known to them”–isn’t true!