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“This is My - Personal - G-d” - בשלח

Friday, 9 February, 2024 - 10:56 am

 

“This is My - Personal - G-d”

In the song of the sea, which the Jewish people sang after the splitting of the sea, they refer to G-d as both the G-d of their fathers as well as their own G-d. They exclaim: 

This is my God, and I will make Him a habitation, the God of my father, and I will ascribe to Him exaltation (Exodus 15:2).

Although chronologically G-d is “the G-d of my father” before he is “my G-d”, nevertheless the order of the verse teaches us that a person must first thank G-d for the kindness he himself experiences, creating a personal relationship with G-d, before thanking G-d for the kindness to  his ancestors. Indeed, in the opening blessing of the Amidah prayer, recited three times every day of the year, the sages instituted that we say “our G-d and the G-d of our fathers”, following the same pattern as the Jewish people’s song at the sea; we begin with our own personal relationship with G-d.

The Shallah, the great 17th century Kabbalist, explains the deeper meaning of this verse. “The G-d of my father” refers to faith which is transmitted from parent to child. The parent conveys the history and teachings of our people thus educating the child about G-d. As the child develops however, he expands his knowledge, he studies and understands the greatness of G-d. At that point G-d is not only the “G-d of my father”, the G-d transmitted to him and which he accepts on faith, but rather “my G-d” for now a personal relationship has been born. 

The verse states “my G-d,  and I will make him a habitation” the Hebrew word for habitation , Veanveihu, is comprised of two words Ani Vahu, “I” and “He”. For only through study can the mind comprehend and internalize the relationship with G-d, creating an abode where “I” and “He” unite in oneness.

 

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