Friday, October 10, 2008

On He'ezinu

1. G-d is described with the words "The Rock, His actions are perfect" followed by the statement "When I call the name of G-d, acknowledge greatness to our Master." The Da'at Zekeinim addresses the juxtaposition of these two lines and writes that "it is proper to give G-d honor for His greatness because of the fact that he is a Rock of consistency who acts in a pure way and does not show anger to those who act in a manner which is inciteful of anger. True greatness, the Daat Zekeinim teaches us, includes not getting angry even if it is well deserved. This is referred to as being maavir al midotav. Rabbi Neuberger reminds his congregants each year (my friend Martin tells me) that we must learn to be ma'avir on our midot in our relations with one another, and then G-d will do the same for us.

2. "VaYishman Yeshurun VaYiv’at.” The Torah tells us that by getting too satisfied (literally; fat) the Jewish People (Yeshurun) come to rebel (literally; kick) against G-d. The Shemen HaTov points out that Yeshurun is a name for the Jewish People that refers to us on our highest spiritual level. He explains that we are being reminded that one can come to rebel against G-d even through being on a high religious level. Sometimes we get a bit too proud of and full of ourselves as a People. Thank G-d in America today the Jewish People thrive in terms of both affluence and religion. Yet we have to be careful to always work on ourselves and not to rebel as a result of our good fortune.

No comments: