Parshat יתרו – Exodus 20:2 – How to Know God…

Exodus 20:2 – I am the Lord, your God, who took you out of the Land of Egypt, from the House of Slavery.

Gemora Shabbos – 108(a): Rabbi Yochanon said, “How do we know that abbreviations are from the Torah? Because the verse says ‘I’ using the letters: אנכי (anochi) – this is actually an abbreviation for ‘I, myself, wrote it [and] gave it.’”

Torah Temimah Colloquial Translation on Note #3:

It is possible to say that the explanation of Rabbi Yochanon’s comment is that this is an allusion to the idea that all the ten commandments were heard by the Jewish people from God through Moshe except for the first two. Only “anochi” and “don’t have any other gods” were heard from the Almighty, himself. This is what is alluded to in the phrase “I, myself, wrote it and gave it.”

One can also say that this phrase relates to a common idea that people say: “One can tell what a person is like and what his characteristics are and the measure of his wisdom from his writings and his books.” Regarding this it is said that the essence of God, so to speak, His Will, His Honor, His Greatness and His Humility are seen and recognized from His Torah. As it says at the end of Megila 31(a), every place where you find God’s Greatness, there also you find His Humility.”

This is what is alluded to in the phrase “I, myself”. It actually means “I, the content of My Soul, wrote and gave it”. I gave it so that [others] can know and recognize me through My writings, through My Torah.

Editor’s Note: This note of the Torah Temimah’s is more poetic and mystical than most of his other notes.

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