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Sukkat Shalom B'nei Noach




8 Av 5783 – 26 July 2023

The essence of perfect faith is to believe that all of nature is governed by G-d and that every phenomenon in nature is itself a result of Divine Providence. Someone whose belief in this principle is complete is able to alter nature [trough his prayers], for he knows the truth ~ for example, that dry land should remain dry land and that sea should remain sea ~ and this is what the world calls nature. But whenever G-d wishes, He can change this pattern, turning sea into dry land.[1] Reb Noson

What if we had been witnesses at creation. That we could “see” from a distance that G-d’s Words “Let there be…” spoke and that we saw the light come into being, the dry land, the plants, the animals and, as the crowning glory of creation, man. We had watched everything with awe and admiration and had recognized G-d’s greatness and power with great fear.

Now we are especially impressed when nature goes differently than we expect. We are impressed by the tales of the wonders of Egypt, we are impressed by the Sea of Reeds and the Jordan opening up to the Jewish people. We are impressed by natural phenomena today that we are not used to see, or we are impressed by animals we do not normally encounter in our environment. In short, we experience a form of awe when we are additionally stimulated to do so. And then it remains to be seen whether this brings us to recognition of the Creator. After all, how many people are impressed by creation without being aware that there is a Creator who brought it forth? Or feel the need to contemplate the Creator or worship Him?

In the blessing for the Shema, we read:

וּבְטוּבוֹ מְחַדֵּשׁ בְּכָל-יוֹם תָּמִיד מַעֲה בְרֵאשִׁית

and in His goodness renews every day, continually, [G-d is not a far-off observer of a mechanism which He created and ignores, but a Living Ruler, Who guides the universe and continually maintains it.] the work of creation.

Every day, G-d speaks anew the words that bring the world into being, that bring us to life. Every day is a new great miracle. If G-d did not speak for even 1 moment, everything would be as if it had never been there.

It is written in Psalms119:89, “Forever, O G-d, Your word stands firm in the heavens. “

The Baal Shem Tov, of blessed memory, explained this concept in detail and made it widely known that it means:

That “Thy word” which Thou didst utter, namely, “Let there …,” these words and letters by which the heavens were created stand firmly in the firmament of heaven forever and are clothed forever in all the heavens to give them life, as it is written in Isaiah40:8., “And the word of our L-rd shall stand firm forever,” and as it is likewise written[2], “And His words live and stand firm forever….” For if the creative letters were to depart even for an instant, G‑d forbid, and return to their source, that source being the degree of G‑dliness from whence they emanate, all the heavens would become naught and absolute nothingness, and it would be as though they had never existed at all.[3]

Each day should be experienced as a truly newly created day. How can we bring ourselves to really feel that awe at everything that seems so normal. A good exercise is to grab something “simple”. Looking at it from all sides, feeling it, smelling it, hearing it, giving that thing our full attention as if we were seeing it for the first time then we awaken that awe in us and we will have a deeper admiration for G-d and therefore a deeper relationship.

By Angelique Sijbolts


[1] Healing Leaves, Prescriptions for Inner Strength, Meaning and Hope, From the letters of Reb Noson of Breslov p.37
[2] Liturgy, Blessings of the Shema (Siddur Tehillat Hashem, p. 48; Annotated Edition, p. 44).
[3] Tanya  Shaar Hayichud Vehaemunah chapter 1

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