Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The 2nd Berakha: GOD'S POWERS

4th of Cheshvan, 5771

The second berakha (blessing) of the Amida, is called Geburot (God's powers). This blessing describes God's infinite (leolam) might, which He employs to nurture, support those who fell, cure the sick, deliver captives, make rain descend, etc.
God's might is about blessings, not destruction. Teaching us too, how to use our own powersto help.
The highest point of God's power mentioned in this berakha (3 times) is techiat hametim, 'the resurrection of the dead'.
Resurrection (do not confuse with 'reincarnation'!) is a core belief in Judaism which affirms that at some time in the future, God will bring life back to the dead.
Techiat hametim defies all physical and biological laws known to us.
Even today, 2010, when humans have decoded the DNA, no scientist can create life from atoms in a lab, even though they assert life appeared 'randomly' millions of years ago... Creation of life remains God's exclusive domain.
Techiat hametim in a sense, parallels 'Creation'. The 'living soul' (nefesh chaya, in Bereshit, a.k.a. 21 grams) is not a chemical but a 'divine' entity.
To understand the essence of techiat hametim think of a modern scientist provided with the legs, head, wings and body of a simple fruit fly. Can he assemble a living fruit fly in a lab?
Make it simpler: we give a scientist a fruit fly which died 1 minute ago of natural causes. Every part of its body is still in its right place. Could the scientist make it fly even for one minute? Can a human recreate, not the body, but just one minute of autonomous life in a laboratory? That is techiat hametim. haShem's exclusive power.