As we make and often break our new year’s resolutions, I leave us with a Jewish version from our tradition. Our parsha this week is called Vaeira which, when translated, means “I made Myself seen.” This is God revealing God’s self to our leader, Moses. God’s name has been known as El Shaddai, the Almighty, but God’s true name has not been revealed.
The Talmud digs deeper into this exchange. God said to Moses: I regret the loss of those who have passed away and are no longer found. Many times I revealed Myself to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; they did not question my ways, not did they say to me, “What is Your name?” You, on the other hand, asked from the start, “What is Your name?”
A name represents so much more than what we are called. It is how we are seen in this world. Our tradition teaches that a keter shem tov, the crown of a good name, is in fact greater than the crown of the priesthood.
May this year of 2019 be one where we ask ourselves, “What is behind our name?” Reveal your true self, make yourself seen, and begin to see the others around you.