Kenneth Cohen

Enough suffering

Before the Egyptians were smitten with the ten plagues, Hashem reveals a little bit of His nature. These were words of great inspiration.

Moshe is reminded that Hashem appeared previously to Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yakov, as the G-d known as א-ל ש-די. This name of G-d is very holy and we must be careful not to desecrate it.

We are familiar with this three letter name, as it appears on our mezuzot.

In that case the Name is an abbreviation of the words, שומר דלתות ישראל, the One who guards the doors of Israel. This is the hint that the mezuza brings protection to every Jewish home.
When the name שד-י is used in Egypt, it refers to a different manifestation of G-d in the world.

The Keli Yakar wrote that the reassurance that was given to Moshe is that G-d eventually told the Patriarchs, “די,” meaning, “enough.” There was an acknowledgement that Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yakov, all went through difficulties in their lifetimes.

Ultimately, they were told, “Enough troubles and suffering. Salvation from G-d, has now arrived.”

Now the message to Moshe is the same. There has been enough suffering in Egypt, with their horrible slavery. Now is the time for redemption and salvation. This was the introduction to the deserved beating that Egypt would now suffer.

Perhaps the timing of this message of the parsha, to our situation today, comes with the same message. We have gone through enough suffering and mourning. Hashem is also appearing as שד-י, “enough.” It is our fervent hope that salvation, joy, and redemption, is at hand. It is time for our enemies to fall, and that we all witness the glory of G-d.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at