The story of VaEra is the 2nd week since we’ve started reading the Book of Exodus. Last week we’ve learned about the continuous struggle between our soul (The Children of Israel) and our body’s (Egypt). We’ve learned that during the first six weeks we’re reading from the Book of Exodus, every year, we’re given an opportunity to free ourselves from the chains and slavery of our body (Egypt). This time is called the ShOVaVIM (the initials of the first six portions of the book Exodus). At that special period of time heavens open up and allow us to re-experience our childhood, growing older and maturing so we could accomplish our personal Exodus and reach true freedom (our own Mt. Sinai revelation).
Last week’s reading of Shemot (Exodus) ends with a declaration of war on the body when Moses demands Pharaoh “Let my people go”. However, Pharaoh does not give up easily and he makes it harder for the Israelites. Similarly, our attempts to overcome our body’s addictions, the moment we make our minds to release ourselves, difficulties are somehow piled up until we give up.
At that point our portion starts: “And God (Elohim) spoke unto Moses, and said unto him: I am the LORD (YHVH יהו”ה, The Tetragrammaton)”. Who exactly spoke to Moses? The Zohar teaches us that the Creator has several names and each one of them implies a different power, while we determine which will reveal: is it a power of Judgment – Elohim, or a power of Mercy – YHVH (The Tetragrammaton).
On the next paragraph it is said: “and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name YHWH I made Me not known to them”. The Zohar explains the process and the opportunity we go through, this time of the year in order to reach a state of mind over matter and Mercy over Judgment. The story of the ten plagues (seven of them are in our portion) symbolizes the correction (Tikun) of the ten powers of Creation (“By ten divine sayings the world was created” – Pirkei Avot 5, 1). This Tikun re-enables our connection to the ten Sephirot of the Tree of Life, the secret of freedom from the angle of death.
The Torah is teaching us how to be free, to overcome our “slavery”, in order to be able to control our destiny, since we were all created in God’s image. We should be able to turn our darkness (our Egypt) into Light and to free ourselves from our body’s edictions and limits.
In order to do so we should remember and see (VaEra) in our mind’s eyes that “GOD is the LORD” (ה’ הוא האלוהים) and that means that every Darkness is Light in a cover. Freedom means, the ability to see everything as mercy, love and compassion. When we learn that we have the power to see it this way and therefore to make it be this way, we could draw vision, power, blessings, miracles etc. from GOD’s name into every aspect of our lives.