Thursday, November 19, 2009

Being "Godly" 1

During my Days of Awe postings, I wrote about the 13 midot and what it means to be truly "Godly." There are several great passages from the rabbis on this in the daily prayers of the Siddur, and I want to share them with you.*
"To walk in all His ways" (Deuteronomy 11:22). These are the ways of the Holy One: "gracious and compassionate, patient, abounding in kindness and faithfulness, assuring love for a thousand generations, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin, and granting pardon. . . ." (Exodus 34:6). This means that just as God is gracious and compassionate, you too must be gracious and compassionate. "The Lord is faithful in all His ways and loving in all His deeds" (Psalm 145:17). As the Holy One is faithful, you too must be faithful. As the Holy One is loving, you too must be loving.
Sifre Deuteronomy, Ekev
Siddur Sim Shalom, p. 19
In a previous post we discussed the positive mitzvot. Interestingly, this verse in Deuteronomy is not correlated to any of the 248 positive commandments.** And yet the sages see in this verse an injunction to imitate God in His qualities.

To me this teaching is both inspiring and very challenging. Not only that, but I believe that for Messianic Jews, this teaching should be particularly emphasized as a fundamental feature of our community. In the coming weeks, I hope to continue posting on this topic and to present some reasons for why I think it's important.

What say you?

* Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about my follow-up post on the second soul of Shabbat--I decided to save it for tomorrow as it will be a good post leading into Shabbat for this week.

** At least, so far as I could find. If I'm wrong, help me out here!

1 comment:

d a v i d m o l n a r PHOTOGRAPHY said...

thank man. i really appreciate you checking out the photos!