Sunday, April 12, 2015

Hashem's Love for Us

Rav Hirsch often wrote about Hashem's love for Jews. Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik's writings often paralleled (or were inspired by?) Rav Hirsch's. In the Mesoras HaRav Chumash we find an example:

"Abraham did not deny his son to God. In exchange, God said, Because you have done this thing and you did not withhold your son, your only one., [t]hat I will surely bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand that is on the seashore, and your descendents will inherit the cities of their enemies (verses 16-17). This was the kinyan chalipin, a legally binding transaction based on an exchange of property. You give Me your son, and I will give you your future. And once the kinyan is made, it is an agreement and a covenant that can never be changed. When we say "the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God Of Jacob," we do not mean God should love us because He loved Abraham. We say that He should love us because he singed a binding agreement with Abraham that requires Him to love us. (The Lord is Righteous in All in Ways, p 53) - Mesoras HaRav Chumash, Bereishis, p. 155.

And while we are on the topic, here's a gem from R' Marcus Lehman of Mainz:

"The boundless goodness of God, that is unfathomable to the limited powers of human understanding, טובו, is the prime mover and mark of all His loving actions. (The English word "God" is also derived from His goodness). Despite its fullness, it does not act blindly, but changes according to the worthiness and need of the person to whom it is given. To the faithful, it is expressed as a bounty in recognition of their worthiness, חן, to the undeserving, as mercy, חסד, and even to those who have forfeited it or could never lay claim to it, as compassion, רחמים.

"God's benevolent action is not sparing with its love, but extends לכל בשר, indiscriminately to all, although in differing amounts."

R' Marcus Lehman, Passover Haggadah, p. 236

I wrote an article on this topic which you can find here.

And here's more in that vein:

"He rides the Heavens for your help..." Devarim 33:26

"Even though you are unaware, Hashem is taking action in the heavens for your help as if He mounted a chariot and was speeding to assist you... Down below here on the earth you may seem to be forlorn and helpless, but Hashem always is taking action to preserve you and to overcome your enemies." —R A Miller,  Fortunate Nation

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