The Jewish Eye
G-d Shall Reign For Eternity: The Divine Code
G-d Shall Reign For Eternity: The Divine Code
(A Commentary on Parashat Beshalach)
By Moshe Phillips - January 12, 2011
Did the Rabbis of old who authored the classic Jewish daily liturgy still used today embed certain messages in the prayers that were specifically intended to draw attention to authentic concepts and central themes in Judaism?
Were these messages and ideas lost over time? The Rabbis inserted one phrase from the Torah over and over again in everyday Jewish prayer. It is recited ten times by the praying Jew on a weekday and twelve times on Shabbat.
Exodus 15:18 – "G-d Shall Reign For Eternity."
On a weekday the phrase is repeated six times at in the morning at Shacharit, one time in the afternoon at Mincha and three times in the evening at Ma'ariv. No other phrase from the Chumash (the Five Books of Moses) is repeated so often. The next most often repeated phrase is the Sh'ma and it is recited only four times.
Exodus 15:18 is the final verse in the famous Song at the Sea, sung by Moshe [Moses] and the entire Jewish People after the crossing of the Red Sea in the weekly Torah portion Beshallach.
The entire Jewish People sang the Song. An interesting thing to note is that this was one of the moments in history when the Jewish People were the most united. The people all sang the same song and everyone was singing it for the first time. Did the entire people experience a Divinely inspired vision? If they did it must be pointed out that a part of the prophecy was the commitment to build a Sanctuary (Holy Temple, Beit HaMikdash) for G-d.
In the verse immediately before Exodus 15:18 the Temple Mount is described as the foundation (of the world) and the holy place of G-d.
The praying Jew is meant to internalize the message of the Song at the Sea many times a day and not just at the Pesach Seder. The message is: The earth is G-d's. The earth will always be G-d's. G-d as owner decides what part of the earth is designated for who and for what purpose.
G-d has chosen just one people to have a special, unique responsibility to worship Him with ritual sacrifice on His Holy Mountain in the Holy City of Jerusalem in His Holy Land.
This people – the Jewish People – were miraculously delivered from bondage in Egypt as the Haggadah relates with "signs and wonders", specifically to demonstrate to the Jewish People and the other nations of the world that G-d is the absolute Ruler of the Universe. The Dayenu song in the Haggadah also contains a reference to the connection between the miracle at the Sea and the building of the Beit HaMikdash, as both landmark events are mentioned.
The Jewish People's reciting of "G-d Shall Reign For Eternity" ten times daily is undoubtedly meant to be a reminder that the Jewish People have a responsibility on the Temple Mount. We are missing the message. A connection between this idea and Peasch is the closing statement we make at the Seder – Next Year in Jerusalem!
"G-d Shall Reign For Eternity" is four words in Hebrew. When modern Jews read a four word combination they are probably limited in their ability to place the four words in the context of the original source of the phrase. The Chumash, it should be clear, held much more of a central place in the lives of the Rabbis who compiled the Siddur and the lives of the members of their communities than to us today. The Chumash was their literature, history, study object, sacred scripture, poetry and music. Talmud and Tanach would not have been as familiar to the common Jew at the time before the printing press as the Chumash was.
And the verse the Rabbis choose to use again and again from the Chumash – "G-d Shall Reign For Eternity." Jews must re-internalize the message in its proper context: a striving for the re-built Temple on the Temple Mount in our days.
And until that time, let us do things that the generation of our grandparents could not do because there was no sovereign Jewish state with control over Jerusalem. First, let us support those good Jews that are trying to recreate a Jewish presence on the Temple Mount with formal prayer services. Also, let us struggle with all our might against any attempt to surrender any of Jerusalem to any so-called Palestinian entity – which would be a catastrophe of the same magnitude of the destruction that committed Jews continue to mourn for on each Tisha B'Av. Lastly, let us demand that the State of Israel abolish the Waqf's (Islamic theocratic police) control of the Temple Mount. The Waqf has engaged in supporting and encouraging terrorism and has undertaken a relentless criminal campaign to destroy all ancient Jewish archeological artifacts on the Temple Mount.
As Israel's greatest national poet Uri Zvi Greenberg (1896-1981) wrote: Whomever controls the Temple Mount controls all of the Land of Israel.
Moshe Phillips is the President of the Philadelphia Chapter of Americans for a Safe Israel / AFSI. The chapter's website is at: http://www.phillyafsi.com. Moshe's blog can be found at http://phillyafsi.blogtownhall.com and Moshe tweets at http://twitter.com/MoshePhillips.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Jewish Eye.
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- The Beit HaMikdash: The Temple & The Holy Mount, by Rabbi Zalman Menachem Koren.
Take a breathtaking journey back through the history of the Beit HaMikdash, along with a look at the current research being conducted to uncover more information about the Temple and the Temple Mount area. Exquisite views of the Temple, as it originally appeared, are also included.
- Jerusalem: Footsteps Through Time, by Ahron Horovitz.
A unique travel guide that provides 'Ten Torah Study Tours of the Old City' complete with directions and detailed commentary.
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