Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

"The Way of G-d"

Part 4: "Divine Service"
Ch. 4: "Shema Yisroel and Its Blessings"
Paragraph 2

We'll need to backtrack a bit here to explain more about the subject of G- d being the Sovereign of the Universe which we cited in the last chapter.

As we'd said early on (see 1:1:2), G-d assumes two roles, if you will. That of G-d Almighty as He is unto Himself in all His Glory (which we sometimes call His "transcendence"); and that of Sovereign of the Universe as He is when He interfaces with us (called His "immanence"). And the Shema Yisroel expresses both.

The point of course is that the same one and only G-d functions on both levels at the same time, depending on how we experience Him.

Compare it if you will to someone who runs his own business and acts as field-manager at times, as when he's right there with the sales people and production staff, meeting with them, buying and selling right along with them, advising, prompting, and encouraging them while at their side; and conversely acting as Chief Executive Officer when he alone makes ultimate decisions, covers costs on his own, fires and hires, etc. at other times. How can the very same person serve in such diametrically opposite capacities in the same organization? Apparently easily enough, seeing how often it's done.

And so while the analogy is quite inadequate because G-d is not at all human and isn't at all subject to the "sturm und drang" of business decisions, and the universe doesn't function like a corporation, nonetheless thanks to this comparison we can begin to grasp how His transcendence and immanence can merge.

But the question now arises as to how *dare* we speak of G-d as the Sovereign of the Universe? After all, while sovereignty certainly implies eminence and control, it still-and-all points to a need the king would seem to have for subjects (after all, our employer needs his employees). Yet we've already depicted G-d in the last chapter as utterly "independent ... of anything" and "wholly and sublimely self- sufficient".

The discrepancy seems too great, and it actually sounds almost shameful to declare G-d Almighty as "merely" the Sovereign of the Universe, which we're meant to affirm when we recite Shema Yisroel. But as we'll see, our doing that serves G-d's purposes indeed.

To begin with, let's reiterate the fact that G-d Almighty, in all His transcendent Glory, *purposely* set out to create a universe and to reign over it -- so as to bestow His goodness upon others. So, He purposefully deigned to "descend", as it were, from His transcendent status in order to interact with His creations that way and *so that we could pay homage to Him*. Thus while His act of "descent" certainly made His sovereignty possible, our acknowledging it affirms it.

As such, we recite Shema Yisroel everyday so as to affirm G-d's immanent presence and reign in our lives, as well as for all the other reasons we cited in the previous chapter.


Text Copyright 2004 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org.


 

ARTICLES ON VAESCHANAN AND TU BEAV:

View Complete List

How Can We Be Comforted?
Shlomo Katz - 5759

Starting With the Best Materials
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759

Down to Earth Spirituality
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5755

> The Easy Commandment
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

For The Very First Time
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

Do Not Enter
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

ArtScroll

Twice the Responsibility
Shlomo Katz - 5768

Dancing Flames
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5772

Judaism 101
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5757

Looking for a Chavrusah?

For Your Sake
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5756

The Jealousy Antidote
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5772

If It Makes Sense
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Rejoicing in a Month of Misfortune: Part 1
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

I Have Just Begun to See
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5761

Addressing Concerns Part 1
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5762

Making Connections
Shlomo Katz - 5772



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information