Friday, July 16, 2010
What this comes to teach us is that all of G-d's attributes, whether his kindness, his mercy, strength, justice or wisdom, as we see and experience them in this world, are dependent upon this world. In the order and beauty of creation we see the wisdom and providential care of G-d. In the awesome power of the sea and wind, we learn his strength. In the precision and grandeur of the Sun, the Moon and stars we but touch upon the greatness of his thoughts. This principle holds true even in the deeds of simple human beings. If no one calls upon the name of HaShem, then he is not found, but remains hidden. His presence in our world is dependent upon a vehicle, something, someone, anyone who will reflect back his wisdom, and glory, his hesed and gevurah. Avraham avinu was just such a vehicle. He was called the friend of G-d, because 'he called upon the name of HaShem' at a time and a place when G-d's presence had long been concealed.
This becoming reflective of Hashem is what is behind the concept of Shabbat Kodesh. Kedusha, holiness, is an attribute, which in the true sense, belongs only to G-d and nothing else, because it means the presence of Hashem. A time, a person, a structure, a place becomes kadosh, holy, because through it the presence of Hashem is revealed. The act of kiddush, of sanctification, means to reflect G-dliness into the world, to make an increase in the revealed presence of Hashem. The rest of creation does this merely by existing. As it says, 'by the word of his mouth was the world formed'. Simply by obeying the command that called it into existence all of creation performs kiddush Hashem, the recognition and declaration that Hashem is G-d and creator of the world. Man, to whom was given reason and free will, must choose to sanctify the Name. When we obey, and perform one of the 613 mitzvot we declare that Hashem is G-d in the heavens above and on the earth below. Then, like Avraham avinu, we begin to catch the rays of the divine presence and reflect them into the world.
Tonight when we kindle the two small flames on our Shabbat table, when we pour the wine for kiddush, when we make the blessings over the washing of the hands and the breaking of the bread, by these simple responses to the divine impulse we 'fling out broad his Name... and deal out that Being, that indoors each one dwells'.