hebrew
1)

What is the difference between "Hashem" and "Elokim"?

1.

Hashem means 'the Omnipotent G-d', 1 whereas 'Elokim" means 'the G-d who judges and supervises our deeds, rewards and punishes us. 2


1

In fact, it is the acronym of 'Hayah, Hoveh ve'Yih'eh' (was, is and will be - implying that He is above time).

2

See the first five 'Ani Ma'amins' of the Rambam.

2)

What are the implications of "Hashem Elokeinu"?

1.

Seforno: It implies that Hashem is the One whom we choose from all the deities, since He is the only One who is able to provide us with all our needs. And due to His superior strength, it is to Him alone that we will bow down; and because it is to Him alone - directly, without any medium - that we look to for all our needs, that we will Daven to Him alone.

3)

What is then the exact meaning of "Hashem Elokeinu Hashem Echad"? Why does the Pasuk insert the Name "Hashem" twice?

1.

Rashi and Ramban: It means that Hashem, who is currently our G-d (Elokeinu), 1 will eventually become their G-d too. 2


1

And not the G-d of the seventy nations. See also Sifsei Chachamim.

2

Rashi: As the Pasuk states in Tzefanyah, 3:9, and in Zecharyah, 14:9 - "ba'Yom ha'Hu Yih'yeh Hashem Echad, u'Shemo Echad".

4)

And why did Moshe use the term "Hashem Elokeinu" and not "Hashem Elokecha" as it does throughout Seifer Devarim (See for example, the following Pasuk, Devarim 9:3 and Devarim 20:4)

1.

Ramban: It is because Hashem performed with Moshe wondrous deeds in order to elevate him in order to enhance his name. 1

2.

Targum Yonasan: Because it is referring to a dialogue between Ya'akov and his sons, where, in reply to his query as to whether their Emunah was complete, they exclaimed in unison 'Sh'ma Yisrael Avinu, Hashem Elokeinu ... !' 2


1

Therefore he found it necessary to include himself on this instance. Presumably, it is for the same reason that he used the same Lashon in Devarim, 1:6 - since he was referring to Har Sinai, where many of those wondrous deeds occurred.

2

Targum Yonasan: To which Ya'akov responded 'Baruch Shem K'vod Malchusdo ... !'.

5)

What is the meaning of "Hashem Echad"?

1.

Rashi (in B'rachos, 13b): It means that Hashem is One 1 in Heaven, on earth and in all directions. 2

2.

Seforno: It means that there is nothing that can compare to the existence of Hashem, who created existence when there was nothingness. Consequently, He is detached from this (perishable) world, from the world of the planets, from the world of angels, and He exists Alone in the fourth world. 3

3.

Rashbam: We will serve Hashem, who alone is our G-d. 4 And under no circumstances will we combine any other deity with Him, even to divine, whilst still believing that there is no G-d other than Hashem. 5


1

'And there is no Oneness like Him in any form or fashion (Rambam, in the second 'Ani Ma'amin').

2

Refer to 6:4:8:1.

3

See Peninim mi'Shulchan ha'G'ra in Devarim 32:39.

4

Rashbam: As the Pasuk states in Divrei ha'Yamim 2, 13:10.

5

Refer to 5:7:1:3.

6)

What is the difference between the Mitzvah of "Anochi" (in the Aseres ha'Dibros) and that of "Sh'ma Yisrael"?

1.

Ramban #1: "Sh'ma" is coming to elaborate on the Mitzvah of "Anochi", which is the unification of Hashem's holy Name.

2.

Ramban #2 (in Yisro) 1 : "Anochi is the Mitzvah of Kabalas Ol Malchus Shamayim, whereas "Sh'ma" is that of the unification of Hashem's holy Name.


1

Refer to Sh'mos, 20:3:1:1* and see R. Chavel's footnotes.

7)

Why is the 'Ayin' in "Sh'ma" large?

1.

Seforno: To hint that we should open our eyes and think deeply about thr Oneness of Hashem. 1

2.

Ba'al ha'Turim #1: Because Hashem gave the Torah which has seventy names and can be explained in seventy ways to Yisrael, who have seventy names. 2

3.

Ba'al ha'Turim #2: Refer to 6:4:7:4.


1

Refer to 6:4:5:2.

2

See Ba'al ha'Turim, Bamidbar 11:16.

8)

And why is the 'Daled' in "Echad" written large?

1.

Ramban (according to Kabalah): It hints at the great Name of Hashem. 1

2.

Seforno: Because Hashem exists alone in the fourth world. 2

3.

Ba'al ha'Turim #1: To teach us that we should declare Hashem King over Heaven and earth and over all four directions.

4.

Ba'al ha'Turim #2 (citing Midrash): To avoid confusing it with a 'Reish' (Chas ve'Shalom). 3

5.

Ba'al ha'Turim #3: In conjunction with the large 'Ayin' in Echad, it spells 'Eid' - a hint that Yisrael testify on Hashem's Oneness. 4


1

Ramban: See Yeshayah, 63:12. Corresponding to which the Chachamim inserted the Pasuk "Baruch Sheim ... " in the Sh'ma - See Pesachim, 56a (Ramban).

2

Refer to 6:4:5:2.

3

Ibid: And by the same token the 'Reish' in "Lo Sishtachaveh le'Eil Acher" (Shmos 34:14) is written large to avoid confusing it with a 'Daled' (Chas ve'Shalom).

4

Ibid: As the Pasuk states in Yeshayah, 43:10. See Ba'al ha'Turim.

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