At the end of last week’s Torah portion, we read that Paroh made things even more difficult for the Jewish people, his slaves, than they had been before. Accordingly Moshe asked Hashem (See Shemos 5:22-23) why He allows this to happen. What is the point of sending him to redeem the Jews, if things only get worse? Our Parshah, Vo’eiro, begins with the answer to this question. Hashem says (See Shemos 6:2-3) that He is G-d. He appeared to Avrohom, Yitzchok and Ya’akov with less of a revelation than that with which he appeared to Moshe. Rashi cites the words from the verse “I appeared,” and states “to the אבות – fathers, i.e. our Patriarchs.” What does Rashi’s explanation adds to Hashem’s words! The Torah clearly states that He appeared to Avrohom, Yitzchok and Ya’akov. We all know that they were our Patriarchs!
The Torah tells us that G-d appeared to them. In other words, they could actually feel, and sense Hashem’s presence. Each one of them was great in their own right. However, Rashi is pointing out that Hashem appeared to them as the “fathers” of the Jewish people. What is special about a parent? Among other things, children are their parent’s heirs. Each of us inherits the spiritual qualities of our forefathers. With Avrohom, the attribute of kindness and love of G-d was the emphasis. Yitzchok’s service emphasized the attribute of severity and awe of Hashem. Ya’akov was the perfect blend of each. Each of us inherits all of these qualities. They are all a part of our spiritual DNA.
The same is true of Hashem appearing to them. Each of us has the power to experience a revelation of Hashem in the same manner as our forefather. Through our service of G-d, we have each inherited the ability to actually feel Hashem’s presence in our lives.
Wishing you a good month and a good Shabbos!
Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn