On this basis, we can understand the verse: “I appeared to Avraham, to Yitzchak, and to Yaakov, by the name of G‑d Almighty (E-l Shaddai),” implying that the revelation to the Patriarchs stemmed from [G‑d’s names] E-l Shaddai, which in general refer to the dimension [of G‑dliness] that is memale kol almin.

In greater detail, there are several levels of E-l Shaddai. [It is with regard to a lower level of E-l Shaddai that] our Sages relate1 that the world was progressively expanding until the Holy One, blessed be He, rebuked it, saying: “I am E-l Shaddai;” I am the One Who told My world, “this is enough.”2 [This established] the nature of the world: a nature that is characterized by hiddenness and concealment.

There is a higher level of E-l Shaddai which reflects an abundance of influence, as indicated by the verse:3 “I will pour out blessing for you to the extent that it cannot be contained.” Commenting on this verse, our Sages note that this implies that blessing will be drawn down according “to one’s needs,”4 but it also implies that ample G‑dly influence will be drawn down into the worlds, as reflected in the interpretation [of the name Shaddai by] the Midrash:5 “Within My G‑dliness is sufficiency for every created being.” This, however, represents merely meeting the needs [of the created being, comparable to the obligation to give a poor man] “what is sufficient for his needs; that which he lacks.”6

[True, this can include] “a horse upon which to ride and a servant to run before him”7 — see the spiritual counterparts as explained in Chassidus8 — but this is nevertheless merely meeting the person’s need. It does not constitute wealth or luxury. Thus [even this relative level of abundance] relates only to the level of memale kol almin. Through the descent into exile in Egypt, by contrast, [the state of] “from Egypt, I called to My son”; it is possible to attain the revelation of G‑d’s name Havayah: “You shall know that I am Havayah”;drawing downthe unlimited dimension of G‑dliness.

This is the intent of the statement: “And G‑d (Elokim) spoke to Moshe and told him: “I am G‑d (Havayah).” [To explain:] This verse is a response9 to Moshe’s question:10 “Why have You harmed this people?” [Moshe was in effect asking:] Why was the entire process of Egyptian exile [and oppression] necessary? To this, G‑d replied: [To make known that] “I am G‑d,” i.e., the ultimate purpose of the exile was for there to be a revelation of [the infinite dimension of G‑dliness] that is associated with His name Havayah.

[Now, there are two dimensions of the name Havayah. This explains the fact that] the name Havayah is also mentioned in connection with the Patriarchs, as mentioned above. For the Patriarchs only related to the lower dimension of G‑d’s name Havayah, the dimension connected with bringing the world into being.11 [This level reflects] the aspect [of G‑dliness] that is connected to the world.12 The Egyptian exile made it possible that “You shall know that I am Havayah,” i.e., to know the higher dimension of G‑d’s name Havayah,the dimension that is simultaneously past, present, and future,13 His infinite dimension.14 [The possibility of] this level [of G‑dliness being revealed and man establishing a relationship with it] is dependent on teshuvah.

[The nature of this relationship can be clarified through an explanation of] the verse:15 “I will give it to you as an inheritance.” For the love that comes about through teshuvah is like an inheritance that a person receives, [endowing him with] a vast fortune for which he did not labor at all. So, too, the love and closeness to G‑d that come about through teshuvah and shame is not achieved through the good deeds one performs on an ongoing basis.16 Instead, it is attained “in one instant.” This is comparable to an inheritance. For an inheritance is [acquired] because of the relationship between the heir and the testator; it is not at all dependent on the status of the heir. For that reason, a deaf-mute, an intellectually and/or emotionally challenged individual, and a minor [who cannot acquire property on his own according to Scriptural Law]17 can inherit property,18 for [with regard to an inheritance,] what is of fundamental importance is [the heir’s] relationship with the testator.

This is the import behind the verse “I will give it to you as an inheritance; I am Havayah.” We relate to the higher dimension of G‑d’s name only through and because of [our spiritual] inheritance.

It is possible to add that the term morashah (מורשה, “inheritance”) relates to the term rosh (ראש, “head”), referring to the bond with “the head of the community,”19 “the heads of your tribes.”20 For “your wood-choppers and your water-carriers” to attain a revelation of G‑d’s name Havayah, they must bond with “the heads of your tribes” so that they will not, Heaven forbid, be separate from the Testator. This relates to the concept explained above with regard to teshuvah:that a son cannot bear his father’s renunciation of their relationship and [therefore] he desires to be close to him.

The above will lead to “And you will know that I am Havayah,” i.e., you will be bonded — because knowledge implies a process of bonding21 — with the higher dimension of G‑d’s name Havayah,the dimension that is past, present, and future at once, His infinite dimension. All of the above is achieved through teshuvah.


This section resolves the questions raised at the beginning of the maamar. G‑d’s revelation to the Patriarchs was limited, following the pattern of memale kol almin, the dimension of G‑dliness that is enclothed in the worlds and structured according to their limits. It is through the exile and oppression suffered in Egypt — a parallel to a father’s harsh treatment of his son, as mentioned in the previous section — that the Jews would be motivated to teshuvah. Through their connection to “the heads of the community,” the common people are motivated to turn to G‑d in teshuvah and this draws down a revelation of G‑d’s infinite dimension.