"I am G‑d, your G‑d."
As opposed to the name Havayah, the name
Elokim undergoes declension: it accepts suffixes that make it mean "our
G‑d," "your G‑d," etc. This is because in order for G‑d to "belong" to us,
He must first constrict his self-revelation; this process of constriction (tzimtzum)
is indicated by the name Elokim. The name Havayah, in contrast,
refers to G‑d's essence, which can never be constricted. This verse thus means
that the normally transcendent name Havayah will now become the immanent,
operative power within every Jew.
Under other circumstances, infusing transcendent Divinity into a created being's
normative consciousness would cause it to cease to exist. The intensity of the
revelation would simply overload its capacities causing it to become instantly
absorbed into the Divine energy flowing through it. The only reason this did not
happen here is because the Jewish people accepted the Torah; studying the Torah
and fulfilling its commandments enable us to withstand this transcendent Divine
The fact that "G‑d is our G‑d,"
i.e., that his transcendent self becomes our "nature," enable us to overcome
whatever obstacles the natural world poses to fulfilling our Divine tasks. In
other words, we can "go out of Egypt" precisely because "G‑d is our
Adapted from Torah Ohr 56d; Sefer HaMa'amarim
5627, p. 103; ibid. 5706-07, p. 213
© 2001 Chabad of California/www.LAchumash.org