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Adar 24

I am your God Who has delivered you from the land of Egypt (Exodus 20:2).

This verse states the mitzvah of emunah, or faith in God. However, since all mitzvos take the form of commandments, they take as a given that Someone exists Who commanded them. Therefore, belief in God must come before accepting any mitzvah. How, then, can there be a mitzvah to believe in God? The reasoning comes out circular. Because we believe in God, we believe that He commanded us to believe in Him.

This mitzvah does not only involve believing that God exists, but believing that God rules the universe and is in charge of its functioning. Thus, the first of the Ten Commandments tells us to believe in Divine Providence, that God attends to the operation of the universe and that things do not occur accidentally or spontaneously. Therefore, the first commandment does not state, "I am your God Who created the universe," because creation of the universe does not assume an ongoing participation in its function.

Some believe that God, after creating the universe, abandoned it to the physical laws of nature. Judaism teaches that God continues His interest in everything that happens in the universe. With the exception of free moral choice, which God has delegated to us, everything that occurs in the universe is of Divine origin, although He may operate through the vehicle of the physical laws of nature.

We maintain our relationship to God, to a Father Who not only begot us, but remains involved in our lives.

Today I shall...

try to remember that God is not only present everywhere, but that He maintains a constant participation in everything that transpires in the universe.

With stories and insights, Rabbi Twerski's new book Twerski on Machzor makes Rosh Hashanah prayers more meaningful. Click here to order...

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