Many Biblical Mitzvos end with "אני ה'" or "אני ה"א" or the like. Some are interpreted, some are totally ignored.

For example (Leviticus.19):

"אִישׁ אִמּוֹ וְאָבִיו תִּירָאוּ וְאֶת־שַׁבְּתֹתַי תִּשְׁמֹרו" and "אֲנִי ה"א׃"
"אַל־תִּפְנוּ אֶל־הָאֱלִילִים וֵאלֹהֵי מַסֵּכָה לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ לָכֶם" and "אֲנִי ה"א׃"
"לֹא־תְקַלֵּל חֵרֵשׁ וְלִפְנֵי עִוֵּר לֹא תִתֵּן מִכְשֹׁל" and "וְיָרֵאתָ מֵּאֱלֹהֶיךָ אֲנִי ה"
"לֹא־תֵלֵךְ רָכִיל בְּעַמֶּיךָ לֹא תַעֲמֹד עַל־דַּם רֵעֶךָ" for "אֲנִי ה'׃"
"לֹא־תִקֹּם וְלֹא־תִטֹּר אֶת־בְּנֵי עַמֶּךָ וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ" and "אֲנִי ה'׃"

Needless to say, the majority are written without this appendage:

"לֹא־תַעֲשֹׁק אֶת־רֵעֲךָ וְלֹא תִגְזֹל לֹא־תָלִין פְּעֻלַּת שָׂכִיר אִתְּךָ עַד־בֹּקֶר׃"
"לֹא־תַעֲשׂוּ עָוֶל בַּמִּשְׁפָּט לֹא־תִשָּׂא פְנֵי־דָל וְלֹא תֶהְדַּר פְּנֵי גָדוֹל בְּצֶדֶק תִּשְׁפֹּט עֲמִיתֶךָ׃"...

What are the implications for Mitzvos with this appendage vs Mitvos without, Halachic or Hashkafic? If there aren't any, why did the Torah care?

I am specifically looking for a rule, i.g. if one says "this is important for Mitzva X" he should explain why it is unimportant for Mitzvah Y.

  • chabad.org.il/ParashotArticles/… בכמה וכמה מקומות בתורה נאמר "אני ה'" או "אני ה' אלוקיכם". ביטוי זה מופיע בדרך-כלל לאחר ציווי כלשהו, ומשמעותו להבהיר כי הקב"ה נאמן לשלם שכר ונאמן להיפרע מהעוברים על רצונו. כמו-כן מצאנו שהביטוי הזה נאמר גם בלי קשר לציווי כלשהו, אלא בסיום עניין. כאשר משה רבנו זעק אל ה' "למה הרעותה לעם הזה", נאמר: "וידבר אלוקים אל משה ויאמר אליו אני ה'". אולם גם שם הכוונה דומה: הקב"ה אמר לו למה הרהרת אחר מידותיי, והלוא נאמן אני לשלם שכר טוב למתהלכים לפניי.
    – pcoz
    Commented Sep 17, 2021 at 1:42
  • @pcoz Stating the obvious. So what's the rule - a random reminder?
    – Al Berko
    Commented Sep 17, 2021 at 8:49
  • I'd note that the Artscroll Chumash uses this phrase as a paragraph divider. I assume that they think (as I often thought) that the phrase goes not only on the last mitzvah mentioned, but on the set of mitzvos since the previous אני ה. (The phrase is almost exclusively used for mitzvos in certain parshiyos in Vayikra, though it appears elsewhere in other contexts.)
    – MichoelR
    Commented Sep 19, 2021 at 12:51
  • @AlBerko Probably what it actually means that the Torah has been mechadesh a yesod munach that can be understood in no other terms other than the tzivuy itself.
    – pcoz
    Commented Sep 19, 2021 at 22:40

2 Answers 2


The Meshech Chochmah (Haftaras Shabbos HaGadol, Malachi 3:16) cites the principle that if someone thinks to do a mitzvah and is prevented, it is considered as if they had fulfilled it anyways (Berachos 6a; Kiddushin 40a).

He seems to say that this principle doesn't apply to mitzvos which say אני השם אלוקיכם. To be honest it's a little hard to understand his intent. At the very least, this is how the contemporary sefer Shalal Rav Sukkos p. 121 understands him. He explains the reason is because אני השם אלוקיכם tells us that this mitzvah requires an acceptance of Hashem as our Lord. If we don't fulfill the mitzvah, even if we wanted to and were prevented, nevertheless we didn't "accept him as our Lord".

The Meshech Chochmah gives a few examples, like the mitzvah of Shofar and Sukkah, which mention אני השם אלוקיכם.

Worth noting is the Chasam Sofer seems to disagree, as he explicitly applies the above principle to Sukkah.


Rashi in Parshas Vaera says that usually this is a warning that Hashem will reward those who keep the mitzvos and punish those who don't:

ויאמר אליו אני ה'. נֶאֱמָן לְשַׁלֵּם שָׂכָר טוֹב לַמִּתְהַלְּכִים לְפָנַי, וְלֹא לְחִנָּם שְׁלַחְתִּיךָ כִּי אִם לְקַיֵּם דְּבָרִי שֶׁדִּבַּרְתִּי לָאָבוֹת הָרִאשׁוֹנִים. וּבַלָּשׁוֹן הַזֶּה מָצִינוּ שֶׁהוּא נִדְרָשׁ בְּכַמָּה מְקוֹמוֹת אֲנִי ה' נֶאֱמָן לְהִפָּרַע – כְּשֶׁהוּא אָמוּר אֵצֶל עֹנֶשׁ – כְּגוֹן "וְחִלַּלְתָּ אֶת שֵׁם אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֲנִי ה'" (ויקרא י״ט:י״ב), וּכְשֶׁהוּא אוֹמֵר אֵצֶל קִיּוּם מִצְווֹת – כְּגוֹן "וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם מִצְוֹתַי וַעֲשִׂיתֶם אוֹתָם אֲנִי ה'" (שם כ"ב) – נֶאֱמָן לִתֵּן שָׂכָר:
AND HE SAID UNTO HIM, I AM THE LORD, Who am faithful to recompense with a full reward those who walk before Me. Nor have I sent you with no purpose in view (cf. 5:22), but to fulfil the promise which I made to the early patriarchs. In this sense we find that the phrase is to be explained in many passages: אני ה׳ signifies, I am the Lord, Who am faithful to exact punishment — when it is spoken in reference to a matter that demands punishment, as, for instance, (Leviticus 19:12) “And thou profanest the name of thy God; I am the Lord”; and when it is spoken in reference to observing the Divine commands — as in, (Leviticus 22:31) “Ye shall keep my commandments and do them; I am the Lord” — it signifies, “I am the Lord Who am faithful to give reward.”

I assume the mitzvos that have this added are more difficult mitzvos that need extra encouragement.

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