For a chronological list of all the Torah Portions in each of the five books of Torah, click here.
Va'eraRead / Listen to Portion
Core community content: Sign in to read, or sign up for a free Core community account to access the full Portions Library.
The revelation of God’s name thematically runs through the story of the exodus from Egypt. The LORD told Pharaoh that he had raised him up and allowed him to remain “in order to show you My power and in order to proclaim My name through all the earth.”
In the Midrash HaGadol, a collection of Yemenite Jewish commentary on Torah, the Jewish people were fearful of inciting Pharaoh further, so they protested to Moses, "Can a slave serve two masters? We are enslaved to Pharaoh and are afraid to transgress his laws." Israel could not serve both Pharaoh and God. Neither can we serve two masters.
The LORD used the plagues, the signs, the wonders, and even the redemption of Israel to show His power and to proclaim His name through all the earth. He made His grand entrance onto the stage of world history and sent a message to the whole world: “I exist, I am God, there is none like Me!”
The LORD reminded Moses that He appeared to the forefathers as God Almighty (El Shaddai, אל שדי), but He did not reveal His personal name the LORD (HaShem): "I appeared … as God Almighty, but by My name, LORD, I did not make Myself known to them."
The pessimist claims that he is just being a realist, but despair is not reality. The heart of the pessimist is really saying, "I am comfortable in my despondent state. Please don't raise me out of this state, because I can't stand being teased with the chance of happiness. I would rather be unhappy than risk the chance of disappointment."
When a person is in bondage, he is not able to liberate himself. He needs someone on the outside to deliver him from the bondage. That is why people who struggle with addictions find their best success when they turn to counseling, support groups, and other systems of accountability. It takes someone outside of the situation to intervene.