The Sfas Emes explains this enigmatic answer. God created the world with עֲשָׂרָה מַאֲמָרוֹת/ten commands. These are stated clearly in the first chapter of Breishis. God constructed the Creation mechanism so that when He uttered the words of creation, the words themselves gave their creations existence. So, for example, when God said, “Let there be light,” (Breishis 1:3) those words gave existence to light. The life force behind everything in this world is those letters in the beginning of the Torah which describe the Creation. The letters are the means through which God extends His will to create and continue the existence of the entire creation. This is a crucial concept. The Creation was not a one time act. It is continuous.
Looking around us, though, it is not clear that the life force that gives everything existence is in the letters of these very commands. In fact, it is not obvious that there is a spiritual life force at all. The Godly life force in Creation is hidden. The purpose of the plagues that God wrought upon
What does the Chiddushei HaRim mean, though, when he says that each מַאֲמַר/command changed to a דִבּוּר/utterance? The Chiddushei HaRim is using a play on words. Although in Hebrew the root דַבָר/DBR means speech, in Aramaic it means leader. The Zohar uses this same play on words when it explains, “וְדִבַּרְתָּ בָּם/You will speak about them.” The Zohar explains this as, “You will guide your actions according to the word of God.” דִבּוּר/Leadership symbolizes the revelation of God in the world. In the exile God’s truth is hidden. The Zohar describes this as the aspect of דִבּוּר/leadership being in exile. At the time the Torah was given the aspect of דִבּוּר/leadership was revealed. This is why right before the ten commandments we find, “וַיְדַבֵּר אֱ-לֹהִים אֵת כָּל־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה .../God spoke all these words …” (Shmos 20:1) God’s leadership was no longer in exile. It was clear for all to see.
We find this concept regarding Moshe Rabbeinu’s speech impediment as well. When God asked Moshe Rabbeinu to return to
As we’ve said, the ten plagues removed God’s concealment from theעֲשָׂרָה מַאֲמָרוֹת/ten commands with which the world was created. As we and the Egyptians became more aware of God with each plague, each aspect of nature represented by one of the ten commands was changed to an aspect of God’s דִבּוּר/leadership. Finally, they were aware of God in all aspects of nature. This is why the Chiddushei HaRim said that the ten commands which created the world changed toעֲשֶׂרֶת הַדִּבְּרוֹת/ten aspects of (God’s) leadership.