Sunday, January 15, 2012

Eksplenation of Independence

Another beautiful peryrish on Parsha Shmos from Rav Hirsch. I called it Explanation of Independence as it elucidate correlation between absolutely free G-d and free man. Enjoy!

V. 14. If I am to express an idea of Myself which, if he comprehends it, and if he allows himself to be completely absorbed by it, will completely change a man, will raise him out of, and above all other creatures, and bring him into direct intimate relationship to Me, then I name Myself, I express Myself as: "I shall be that which I Will be". All other creatures are that which they have to be; with their coming into existence they are bound by the will of the One Who alone can say, not only "I am" but that "I shall be that which I wish to be". This expresses the personal, absolute free nature of God. Inasmuch as God does not proclaim here "I am that which etc." but "I shall be etc.", He stresses, by using the future tense, that the future is completely unbound, completely dependent on His free will. This expresses the characteristic Jewish conception of God, and the fresh new knowledge of Him which was to be known to mankind by the redemption from Egypt — a knowledge which is to serve for the redemption of the whole world. 
The conception of God in non-Jewish circles, is, at the most, as the origin of the world in its physical state since it came into existence, and even then, when this thought does raise itself from the denial a the existence of God into the vague, obscure, non-mundane existence of an actual God, it still relegates the work of God really to the past. At one single moment, they say God did stand in connection with the world, the moment in which the world came into existence by God's power or will. Since then His work, the world, is self-contained. Everything, even the most distant future is simply the irrevocable result of the physical laws of nature given when the world came into existence. To this point of view, everything in the world follows unalterable given laws, which, at the utmost, did once originate from the power of a higher One. (…) Accordingly, in order to save their unfree, bound, God they have to declare that the freedom of Man is itself a delusion. Man is not free. What he imagines to be his own free decisions are but the products of unconscious influences arising out of his past, he is but a puppet dancing to the strings pulled by this past of his — and so from heaven to earth, in the whole realm of being, to them there is nothing at all that can say "I shall be", because to them nothing can say "I will". Ekye asher Ekye comes crushingly against this delusion, which, with the denying of the freedom of God has to deny the free will of Man; and by declaring the absolute freedom of God, puts the future of Man in its true perspective.
In the last words of the description of the Creation Asher Buru Elokim Leasos the work of God is declared not as finished, but as only beginning, as these words referring to our earth and its heaven imply that God called them into existence Leasos, to go on working. This working is indicated as being the mission of the immediately preceding last creation of the Creation, Man, who had been placed as the free administrator and manager of God's creation. Now these four words Asher Buru Elokim Leasos mark the transition from the completion of God's creative work in Nature, to what then began and which reaches out to, and guides and forms and influences, the whole distant future — God's creative work in the History of Man. "From the creative work of the world He ceased, but not from work on the righteous and wicked, but  He goes on working creatively with the one and with the other, makes the one (the righteous) experience an inkling of the ultimate future that awaits him, and lets the other (the wicked) also experience an inkling of the ltimate future that awaits him." (Rabbi Pinchas in the name of Rabbi Oshiya in the Midrash on this verse).
Up to this point we only find God proclaiming Himself as Elokim – God of Nature, of the Laws of Cause and Effect, but from here onwards we find a new name added to Elokim
Viz: four lettered name of God, as the God of the assured future of Mankind. In the same way here, at the beginning of the Geula from Egypt, where God first showed Pharaoh and the whole world His creative interference in the development of the History of Mankind, we find a new designation of Him, Ekye Asher Ekye  This expresses with absolute certainty that basic truth, the very cornerstone of all Truth and of all Happiness, that the future goal of mankind is absolutely assured, and it is a call for Man to use his power to carve the immediate future, in God's service, i.e., to make God's will his will. This word, Ekye Asher Ekye breaks the chains of every other power, sets Man upright and free in the service of God, — a co-worker in the Future which He desires. Under the free God, free Man rules the world for the Future which God's free will desired. With every impression of Godliness which Man impresses on his own internal self, with every such impression that he stamps on the external world about him, Man works at the creation of this Future. The guarantee that this Future will ultimately be absolutely achieved lies in the very fact that God, with the power of His absolute free and unbound will, created this world for this Future, so that even the apparently most opposing conditions and events must be leading up to this one, great, sure goal. We express this confidence, in the ever-recurring Kaddish which we have interwoven into all our public divine services: Yiskadal veYiskadaish Shmei Rabo "God's great name shall come to ever greater and ever holier realization Beolmo in the world Devrah which He has created Keeresoh according to His free Will".

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