Shavuot and the Sacred Process of Becoming

By Rabbi Adina Allen

In our sacred texts, God is called by many names: Tzur (Rock), Shomer(Guardian), Rechem (Womb), Melech (King), Adonai (Lord), Magen (Shield) — all our limited approximations of God’s infinite being. In the Torah, we find a moment of intimate exchange between God and Moses in which Moses asks God how he should identify God to the people. In this one-on-one conversation next to the burning bush, God tells Moses that he (Moses) will be the leader to take the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses first asks: Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh? God promises Moses that God will be with him in this process of redemption. Moses then asks God: When I come to the Israelites and say that You sent me, what should I tell them Your name is? God answers: “Tell them ‘Ehyeh asher ehyeh‘sent you.” “Tell them ‘I shall be that which I shall be’ sent you.”

Read more in the latest Sh’ma Now Magazine on Shavuot!

Jeff Kasowitz