A collection of excerpts from Torah Club on the weekly Torah Portions, from Genesis to Deuteronomy.
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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.
There will also come a time in the future when heaven will again unleash plagues and signs revealing God’s name, not merely upon Egypt, but in all the earth. The prophecies of the apocalyptic book of Revelation speak of plagues to come.