There are many titles with which we address Hashem. Before this week’s Parsha, various titles have already been used, but this week, there's a new one. Avraham Avinu comes along and bestows upon Hashem a new title: “My Master” (Brachos 7b). What is the significance of this title?
Rav Shimon Schwab zt”l explains that the title of A-d-on-ai, “My Master,” is unique because it, unlike other names, displays a personal relationship. When a member of a country relates to his king, he may have never had a personal interaction with his king. He knows of him, he fears him, but it is not personal. In contrast, a servant’s relationship with his master is by definition a personal one. They frequently interact, and a bond of trust, love, and loyalty can develop on an entirely different and deeper level.
This message of individual connection is also reflected in the Adon Olam. As zt”l points out, we begin Adon Olam with displaying the awesomeness of Hashem and how there are none comparable to Him in any manner. Then we pivot: “V’hu Keli v’chai goali” – and He is my G-D and my Living Redeemer. I am not just relating the Awesomeness of Hashem but proclaiming that I have a personal connection to Him. Indeed, as Avraham taught and stressed to the world, Hashem is “A-d-o-nai”—My Master.
This is an attitude in life that is critical to carry out. We have to know—when we turn to Hashem for help, we are turning to The One with whom we share a personal connection. When we daven, we are davening to OUR Master. When there are times when I am scared, either for my personal safety or the safety of Acheinu Bnei Yisroel, I am relying on MY Hashem, the One with whom I share a personal connection.
As parents, this is a critical lesson to give over to our children. Hashem is not a distant Creator. He is MY Hashem, and each and every one of us can have a personal and close relationship with Him, if we so try.
Have a great Shabbos,
Rabbi Menachem Z. Weissmann
Menahel/Head of School