This week’s Torah portion describes the first of the plagues of Egypt, in parsha ‘Vayera,’ (Exodus 6:2 through chapter 9).

And that word, ‘vayera,’ translated as “and I appeared” begins a verse that has been described as confusing, since it SEEMS to imply that Yahuah had NOT ‘made Himself known’ to the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, via that Name. But, in fact, He certainly did, as the text makes clear, more than once. So there must be another explanation; indeed, there are several possibilities, but Mark suggests that the one most clear is also the one that this Book is all about: “Ani YHVH!”:
it’s one thing to use a name, even Hi; it’s another entirely to make sure that all of humanity KNOWS what that Name is all about. By demonstration, by His ‘mighty arm,’ power, and strength. And more.

On Erev Shabbat, as usual, Mark Call of Shabbat Shalom Mesa goes through the whole story, including so many of the fascinating patterns that underlie the sets of plagues:

The Sabbath day teaching this week is about the heart of the questions raised by what it means that “by my Name ‘Yahuah’ I did not – then – make Myself known to them…” but – in THIS part of the story, He certainly does. One of those questions is arguably, “well, then, what about NOW?” Many of those who claim to be “followers” or “believers” don’t seem to know what His Name even is, much less what “making His Name KNOWN — to US! — really implies.

But that’s just the beginning.

“Vayera: Questions from the FIRST Set of Plagues”

The combined two-part podcast is here: