Tuesday, May 4, 2010

ELOKE ABRAHAM “The God of Abraham” (part 1)

Today is the 20th of Iyar, 5770 (35 days of Omer. 5 weeks)

The first Berakha of the Amida is known as “Birkat Abot”, the Berakha in which we mention our forefathers, Abraham, Yitzchak and Ya’akob.
By mentioning them, we first assert that we are not praying to a God who is the fruit of our own imagination or interests, but to the God of the Hebrew Bible, the same God our forefathers pray to. Abraham, as everyone knows, arrived to the knowledge of God (EMUNA) by his own reasoning and intellect.
When I say in this Berakha “The God of Abraham” I remind myself of the three major things Abraham taught us about God Almighty.
First, Abraham discerned that God has no body. We can see His actions, we might infer His amazing powers, but God remains invisible. He cannot be pictured or even represented by any image or figure.
Maimonides explains that at the beginning of humanity, people knew this fact and they considered the powerful sun and the enigmatic moon and the stars as God’s ministers, but then, manipulated by wrong leaders, men begun to attribute to the sun, moon and stars divine powers, built for them sanctuaries and worship their images, so much so that they completely “forgot” of God Almighty.
Abraham Abinu brought back to humanity the idea of the Almighty “invisible” God.
Abraham also discovered that God is One. We will talk more about the impact of Abraham’s idea about God’s unity, BH next Tuesday.