Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The 13 Midot

A major component of selichot prayers is the 13 Midot, the list of the 13 attributes of God, from Exodus 34:6-7. After the children of Israel sin with the golden calf, Moses is interceding with them before God. When it seems Moses has said all he can say, then God passes before Moses and makes this proclamation about Himself. Jewish tradition says that God wrapped Himself in a tallis when He passed before Moses, and that the Holy One was demonstrating to Moses how to intercede to Him. (If the idea of God wearing a tallis is weird to you, ask yourself, "Why?" It would probably make for a great discussion...)

I have read that the Torah is the basis for how man should behave, but the sages said that to be truly Godly means to emulate these 13 Midot. I believe that Yeshua was not only perfectly adherent to the Torah, but that he revealed through his life
Hashem, Hashem, God, Compassionate and Gracious,
Slow to Anger, and Abundant in Kindness and Truth,
Preserver of Kindness for thousands of generations,
Forgiver of iniquity, willful sin and error, and Who cleanses.

1 comment:

Netzer Chosid said...

Great thought. I'm currently working through the kabbalistic mussar classic Sefer Tomer Devorah, which studies this very idea--emulating Hashem.
I hope to make it the subject of a series of posts after R"H.

Also, doesn't the verse, "He wraps Himself with light as with a garment" imply that the prophets envisioned G-d with a tallis? It also implies that light bends (360 degrees, at least) which is another discussion....

Shana Tova!