Monday, February 08, 2010

R' Soloveitchik on "Anochi Hashem Elokecha"

Two thoughts on “Anochi Hashem Elokecha” which I heard b’shem R’ Soloveitchik:

1) A person might c”v find it hard to accept that the G-d who fought against the Egyptians is the same G-d who now patiently acts as a teacher to give his people Torah. Therefore, explains Rashi, the Aseres Hadobros begin, “Anochi… asher hotzeysicha”-- I, Hashem the lawgiver, am the same Hashem who tool you out of Egypt.

We have an obligation to imitate Hashem’s ways. The Torah is hinting that at times we must act like a warrior, at times like a patient scholar. We must respond as the situation requires and not be rigid and inflexible in our nature.

2) The echo of Hashem’s voice reverberated throughout the world and seemed to come from every direction. Rashi explains that “Anochi” reinforced the idea that there is only one Hashem that is the source of all of those voices, not multiple beings c”v.

Why create the potential for error by producing a voice that echoed from every corner of the world? Because the voice of Torah does and can echo in every corner of the globe. Whether a Jew is in NY, or Jerusalem, or China, there is no corner of the world in which Torah cannot be learned and taught.

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