Thursday, July 26, 2012

Emunah- Devarim’s Powerful quotes

Emunah- Devarim’s Powerful quotes
Emunah- commitment/loyalty- is the foundation of the Jewish people.  When we pray to Hashem, we say, “our G-d, G-d of our forefathers, etc.” We are calling out to Him as our Father first and foremost. In His greatness, we are meant to attach ourselves to Him through fulfilling His commandments. The Book of Devarim teaches a Jew how to strengthen his emunah to Hashem. Additionally, Devarim discusses many mitzvot pertaining to believing in Hashem’s oneness, loving, and fearing Him.

Throughout our thousands of years in exile and the much suffering our nation has endured, the one thing that has kept us inspired is our emunah. Yirmeyahu, the prophet, quotes, “My soul is bereft of peace, I have forgotten the good times, I thought my eternal world and my souls are lost from Hashem, because I sinned so greatly” (Aicha 3:17:18). However, he immediately encourages himself and says, “this I recall to my heart and therefore I will hope: Hashem’s kindness does not cease, His mercies do not end. His mercies are new every morning, great is His emunah (ibid 2:21:23). What does Yirmeyahu mean when he says, His emunah? Rashi explains that Hashem promised to never forsake us and that He will keep His promise to us (our future redemption) and continuously extend His kindness to us. Despite the bad times we may experience, we must always encourage ourselves, just as the great prophet Yirmeyahu did, and remember the eternal kindness Hashem displays toward His people.

Additionally, the book of Devarim teaches us: “Only guard yourself and guard your soul very much, lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life, but teach them to your sons and your sons’ son- the day you stood before Hashem, your G-d at Sinai” (4:9-10). The Torah recognizes that there are many factors that may lead us astray from observing Hashem’s mitzvot, hence causing us to lose our emunah. The drive for greed, honor, lust, etc., are some of the many factors that may drive us away from serving Hashem with our entire heart. Moreover, by misinterpreting the Torah, or not having the sufficient knowledge to observe it properly, we stray from Hashem.

Our goal as Jews is to continuously strive to stay connected and develop our emunah. We need to pray that Hashem will strengthen it. We need to be persistent and determined to fight all the evil inclinations that pull us away from serving Hashem with joy. Additionally, we need to know that Hashem is in control of our lives and all the circumstances we are presented with. With this awareness and developed emunah, we will be able to maintain the bond Hashem created with our ancestors all those years ago.

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