First Blessing 21: Commentary Part Two
Ha’El, Ha’Gadol, Ha’Gibor, v’ha-Nora – “The great, mighty, and awesome God” refers to the Power that is great, that is strong, and that is awesome.
El elyon – “The supreme God” means the Power over which no one else has power, or the power which has power over all other things.
Gomel Chasadim Tovim – “The One Who bestows beneficial kindnesses.” One might ask whether there is such a thing as destructive kindness? Yes, we all know that there is kindness that can take away a person’s sense of independence, and self-worth. But anything that comes from God by definition is good whether we realize it, or not.
V’koneh ha’kol – “And creates everything” means that God is constantly involved in fixing things and guiding them towards perfection.
V’zocher Chasdei Avot – “The One Who recalls the kindnesses of the Patriarchs” refers to God’s continuing to give reality to the kindness of our ancestors. Although they thought what they did was only a deed within a certain space in time, God gives it eternal life. In the same way, God takes our deeds and gives them existence far beyond their limited action.
U’meivi Go’el Liv’nei Bneihem – “And brings a Redeemer to their children’s children” means that God will bring a redeemer to their descendants for the sake of their deeds.
And even if God has to do it: L’ma’an sh’mo – “For the sake of his name” because he made a promise, meaning, even if we are undeserving, He will still do it b’ahava – “with love.”