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Vayechi-Jacob's Farewell-Baruch Shem Kivod Malchuto VII Print E-mail

Shema“Blessed is the Name of His glorious kingdom for all eternity.” Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin explained the verse, “God reigns, God reigned, God shall reign for all eternity,” that seems to be out of order: We should first say, “God reigned,” past, before the present, “God reigns.” He answers that in the Heavenly realms, where the Angels live and praise God, there is no sense of time. All time is present. God reigns in full Unity in the present.

However, we live in the confines of time. We experienced the Angels’ sense of God’s Unified reign before the sin of Adam and Eve, and after we experienced Revelation, before the sin of the Golden Calf. We speak of those moments of awareness only in the past, as something we once had, but lost, and hope to regain as we once did and live with that awareness forever.

Thus we say, “God reigns,” is the level of awareness to which we aspire as, “God reigned,” we experienced in the past, and hope to experience forever, “God shall reign.” (Rabbi David Taubel in the name of Rabbi Chaim Volozhin at the end of Ruach Chaim)

We do not recite Baruch Shem aloud as we would raise a challenge from the Angels as to why we do not live with the high level of awareness that we express. However, on Yom Kippur, when we live with that awareness, we can say the verse aloud without fear of an Angelic challenge.
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