Is Chazzanut Good for KJ?
Adapted from a sermon delivered at KJ on Shabbat Va'era The beginning of Parashat Va’era describes a critical conversation that took place between God and Moshe. God told Moshe that a new chapter was about to unfold for the Jewish People, as God will now be known by a new name. “I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as El Shaddai , but I did not make Myself known to them by My name Hashem .” The problem with this statement is that it’s not true. The name, Hashem, was in fact so familiar to Abraham that he even called God by that name early in their relationship, asking “Oh Hashem , what can You give me?” God introduced Himself to Jacob by that name too: “I am Hashem , the God of your father Abraham.” So what then is the meaning of God’s words to Moshe that I did not make Myself known to them by My name Hashem ?” Seforno (16th century Italy) suggested that God did not mean that He never used the name Hashem when interacting with the forefathers, but rather that the attributes an