Rabbi Dr Zvi Aviner


Dec 2021



Ó copyrights

IDOLATRY-2/Presenting the G-d of Israel




In the Second of the Ten Commandments,

the idols are defined as “Other gods besides me.”

Thus the idols are defined in a negative way,

As anything one would worship other than G-d.


Inferring, that one need first to know God

In order to define the idols.


Indeed, Moses begins by defining G-d,

than introduces the idols.

So how does Moses define G-d?



 The First of the Ten Commandments says


(1) I Am (Self )

(2) The Lord (YHVH) your G-d (EeLoHiM) ( Attributes)

(3) Who took you out of Egypt Land (Deeds, Kingship)


Here the Speaker – G-d – introduces in a particular way,

In  three lines:


Line 1: The “I Am”,   G-d’s SELF, or ESSENCE,

who is beyond description.


Line 2: The Attributes:  Lord (YHVH) and G-d (EeLoHiM)

The Hebrew text says “YHVH, your EeLoHiM,”

where YHVH presents the Attribute of MERCY,

and EeLoHiM presents the Attribute of JUDGMENT.


As a rule, through the entire Bible,

YHVH is always translated as Lord,

And  EeLoHiM is always translated as G-d.


Although the English terms present awe,

they miss the specific meaning

of YHVH as the MERCIFUL Attribute

and ELHM as the Attribute of JUDGMENT


Note, that the Speaker- G-d – elected to present Himself

by these two Attributes,

for a good reason –

telling us that He is the G-d of Mercy and Judgment.




So , line 1 presents the SELF,

Line 2 the Attributes, and

Line 3 presents His Deeds, His activities

His intervention in nature and in human history. 


Here, He presents His activity, Kingship, as

the One who had taken Israel out of Egypt Land.


He could have elected other activities,

like “The One who create the World.”

Speaking to former Egyptian slaves,

He presented Himself a s their REDEEMER.

A title that is more meaningful to them.


 So why is it counted as a Command?


Because here the SPEAKER wants us

to know Him, and address Him,

by those particular Titles and Names.



Here He gives us His unique “address,”

To assure that our prayers and blessings

would reach the right ear.


So, if you want to be heard,

please be careful and send your prayers

to this address.



But there is another reason for choosing these very Names.

For they are the essential keys to comprehend the Torah.


You can’t understand the Bible, absolutely not,

Without paying attention to the text

And define who is the speaker-





For illustration:

Suppose I enter your class room for the first time

Introducing myself as –

  1. I Am (my self)
  2. Rabbi Dr. Zvi Aviner (my attributes, titles, name)
  3. And I teach Torah on the internet (my actions, deeds)


I have selected this sequence carefully.

I first presented my self (line 1)

in line 2 I presented my titles and name.

which I have selected carefully, in a specific order.


I mentioned my title Rabbi first,

Informing you that I am well versed in Judaism

And I am qualified to stand before you and teach Torah.


Still in line 2,

I’ve also mentioned my other title Dr.

Informing you that I know something about Science and society.

I am qualified to speak about science.


Note that I’ve chosen to mention my rabbinic title first

since it is more relevant to you, in our Torah class

then my other title Dr.


To my patients in my clinic, though

I would first present first my title Dr,

and would probably omit my rabbinical title.


Note also that having presented my titles and names to you,

It would be rude for a student to address me otherwise,

or distort them, or mispronounce them.

In fact,

If someone addresses me as” Rubbi,” instead of” Rabbi”,

I would take this as a token for ignorance,

Showing that the person has no clue what “rabbi” is.




Mispronouncing G-d’s Name,

Saying Jahowa or Yahwa instead of YHVH (letter by letter, as an acronym)

Would simply betrays an ignorance of the Name’s meaning

betray complete ignorance of their meaning.



Going back to my example,

I presented myself in linen 3, as “I teach Torah.”

This is what I do.  This is what I am doing here, my deed.




Blessing and Prayers



The rabbis in ancient time  decreed

That,  in order to comply with  Moses’  First Commandment,

we should pray or bless G-d

using the way, He elected to be addressed,


Thus, blessing G-d before eating bread, we say:


Blessed are –  

(1) Thou (You)

(2) YHVH (Ha-Shen) our ELoHiM

(3) The King of the Universe,

who brings bread out of the ground.”



Here we are careful to address Him

the way He presents Himself in the Ten Commandments.

We use it as  “coin of blessing” for all our blessings and prayers.



So next we ask:

What is the meaning of these titles,



For that,

\we should go to the miraculous Chapter One of Genesis.