In Parsha In Pink on Parshas Va'eschanan, the author cites a Ramchal that gives a beautiful insight into the Passuk of Shema Yisrael (Devarim 6:4).

שמע ישראל יהוה אלהינו יהוה אחד

YKVK represents Hashem acting with Rachamim - Mercy and Elokhim represents Hashem acting with Din - strict judgement.

Therefore, the verse can be read as "Listen, Israel, Hashem (God acting with mercy) and Elokhim - (God acting with strict judgement), are both really singularly God acting with mercy. Even what appears to be strict judgement is really all a manifestation of God's mercy.

You can find an almost identical Peshat here (around the numbers 7-8), but unattributed.

This is a beautiful Peshat that gives one a lot of hope as we focus on the tragedies that took place throughout the generations on Tisha Ba'av. Does anyone know where I can find this Ramchal? I did a search for every time the Ramchal mentions the words of this Passuk but none of them say this. I did find him dancing around some similar concepts but nothing I found was particularly close.

Alternatively, if the source is misattributed, does anyone know who says it?

Thank you so much!

2 Answers 2


While not the Ramchal, Rebbe Nachman does discuss this concept throughout Torah 4 in the Likutei Moharan (particularly here and here):

כְּשֶׁאָדָם יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁכָּל מְאֹרְעוֹתָיו הֵם לְטוֹבָתוֹ, זֹאת הַבְּחִינָה הִיא מֵעֵין עוֹלָם הַבָּא, כְּמוֹ שֶׁכָּתוּב (תהילים נ״ו:י״א-י״ב): בַּה' אֲהַלֵּל דָּבָר, בֵּאלֹהִים אֲהַלֵּל דָּבָר; וְזֹאת הַבְּחִינָה הִיא מֵעֵין עוֹלָם הַבָּא, כְּמוֹ שֶׁאָמְרוּ חֲכָמֵינוּ זִכְרוֹנָם לִבְרָכָה (פסחים נ.): בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא יִהְיֶה ה' אֶחָד וְכוּ'. וְהִקְשׁוּ: וְכִי הָאִידְנָא לָאו הוּא אֶחָד. וְתֵרְצוּ חֲכָמֵינוּ זִכְרוֹנָם לִבְרָכָה: הָאִידְנָא מְבָרְכִין עַל הַטּוֹבָה הַטּוֹב וְהַמֵּטִיב, וְעַל הָרָעָה – דַּיָּן אֱמֶת; וּלֶעָתִיד – כֻּלּוֹ הַטּוֹב וְהַמֵּטִיב, שֶׁיִּהְיֶה שֵׁם ה' וְשֵׁם אֱלֹקִים אַחְדוּת אֶחָד:

When a person knows that everything that happens to him is for his benefit, this perception is a foretaste of the World to Come. As said, “When He is YHVH, I will praise His word; when He is Elokim, I will praise His word” (Psalms 56:11). And this perception is a foretaste of the World to Come, as our Sages taught: “On that day God shall be one and His Name one” (Zechariah 14:9). They asked: Is He now not one? And our Sages answered: At present, the blessing “Who is good and beneficent” is recited over good, whereas “the truthful Judge” is recited over bad. But in the Future, it will be entirely “Who is good and beneficent” (Pesachim 50a). The Holy Name YHVH and the Holy Name Elokim will be totally one.

אָנֹכִי ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ. פֵּרוּשׁ, הֵן ה' הֵן אֱלֹהֶיךָ תָּבִין, שֶׁכָּל זֹאת אָנֹכִי, הַיְנוּ שֶׁתְּקַיֵּם: בַּה' אֲהַלֵּל דָּבָר, בֵּאלֹהִים אֲהַלֵּל דָּבָר, הַיְנוּ כֻּלּוֹ הַטּוֹב וְהַמֵּטִיב כַּנַּ"ל;

Anokhi YHVH Elokekha — Whether it be YHVH or Elokekha, understand that all this is Anokhi (“I”). That is, one should fulfill: “When He is YHVH, I will praise His word; when He is Elokim, I will praise His word”—i.e., “entirely ‘Who is good and beneficent,’” as above.

R' Nasan Maimon goes through it in great detail here.

The Ramchal might say it as well; it's definitely a common concept throughout the Kabbalistic and Chassidic literature.

  • Thank you so much. This is very close but it's not quite what I'm looking for. The first one says in the future there will be no distinction between Hashem and Elokhim. I'm looking for a source that this is true now. The second one is a little vague but it also doesn't seem to be saying that even Hashem's Din is Rachamim. Either way, I also need this to be a Peshat in the Passuk of Shema.
    – Eliyahu
    Commented Jul 29, 2020 at 15:33

Here this thought is ascribed to the Kli Yakar, who said:

As we know, the Torah describes God in many ways. Two of the Almighty's infinite facets are the middot of justice – denoted by the name ‘Elokim’ – and mercy, denoted by the name ‘Hashem.’ Our verse begins by describing the current reality – Hear O Israel – as we experience both mercy and justice (Hashem and Elokeinu.) When we experience ‘too much’ of the latter, we may feel we have lost face forever; the facet of Hashem is a thing of the past. Therefore, the verse ends with "Hashem is One," meaning justice and mercy are not objective opposites. They are two sides of the same coin.

  • 1
    I read the Kli Yakar inside. He's not saying that Din and Rachamim are the same. He's just saying they both come from the same source - Hashem, and in the future there will be no more strict judgement.
    – Eliyahu
    Commented Jul 29, 2020 at 19:04

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