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Shabbat Parashat Devarim 5773

Ein Ayah: Specific Power Among General Greatness

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Berachot 9:305)

Gemara: He expounded on the pasuk (Divrei Hayamim I 29:11): “To you, Hashem, are the greatness, the power, the grandeur, the eternity, and the glory.” “To you, Hashem, is … the power” – this refers to the Exodus from Egypt, and so the pasuk says: “Israel saw the great Hand” (Shemot 14:31).

 

Ein Ayah: In contrast to greatness [discussed last time], which is a general illustration of all that Hashem made in the world, “power” comes to tell us that with all of the general greatness, there is also specific providence, so that every individual finds a place according to his specific characteristics. The special conditions that Hashem provides for every individual are an expression of the power that emerges from the general unlimited greatness, and it allows each one to have its own specific boundaries. It is this power that causes every nation to have its own borders and is what separates one nation from another, on various levels. The best demonstration of this phenomenon was the Exodus. Hashem elevated Bnei Yisrael, and formed them into a nation unto its own, with a unique providential relationship with Him. This showed the nations of the world that He has a special relationship with each of them, according to what it deserves. In order for all those who were created in the Divine Image to come together in general service of Hashem, they have to see the Hand of Hashem, with its specific imagery. A hand has five separate fingers; while each can and does perform its own specific task, they must also be united to promote the overall goal.

In overview, we may say that if all individuals were undifferentiated, there would still be greatness but there would not be power. Rather there would be weakness, since an individual would not realize the specific goal for which he was created. However, when we see individuality, starting with the unique national lives of each nation, both Hashem’s hand and His power are recognizable in the world.

 

Different Ways for Celestial Bodies to Cause Grandeur

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Berachot 9:306)

 

Gemara: He expounded on the pasuk (Divrei Hayamim I 29:11): “To you, Hashem, are the greatness, the power, the grandeur, the eternity, and the glory.” “To you, Hashem, is … the grandeur” – this refers to the sun and the moon, which stood still for Yehoshua, as it says: “The sun was still and the moon stood” (Yehoshua 10:13).

 

Ein Ayah: As the great celestial bodies traverse the infinite expanse of space and interact in complex systems, the world displays great beauty and grandeur. Certainly, these grand interrelationships are based on strong natural rules of beauty and of value. By interrupting the natural course of 'nature,' by halting the sun and moon, Hashem proved that even such great systems are really in His Hands. Thus, while there is value to the grandeur of the heavens, it is overridden by the moral needs that Hashem identifies. It is more important to sanctify Hashem’s Name in the world and emphasize the value of true knowledge and actions. This happened in the days of Yehoshua, for the sake of a nation who knows His ways and a righteous man who fears Him, showing the grandeur of the internal life in the world, a life of truth.

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