Hallel: Fourth Paragraph: Empowerment
Psalm 115: Part Two: Fourth Paragraph: Empowerment
“God remembered us and will bless – Bless the House of Israel – Bless the House of Aaron – Bless those who are in awe of God, the insignificant with the great. God will enhance you – you and your children. You are blessed to God Who made the heavens and the earth. The heavens are God’s, while the earth has been given to people. The dead do not praise the Creator of Heaven and Earth, nor do those who go down to their doom. But we – we praise the Creator of Heaven and Earth – From now and forever – Hallelukah!”
This paragraph, actually the second half of the psalm, is God’s response to the Trusters of the previous paragraph. God blesses us and grants us the power to bless Him – to be responsible for this world and expand His Presence in it.
The Talmud asks why the verse here says: “The heavens are God’s, while the earth has been given to people,” when there is another verse that says, “To God (belongs) the earth and all that fills it”? Was the earth given to people, or does it belong to God. The Talmud answers that the latter verse describes the world before we recite a blessing. The former verse, which speaks of the world being ours, is after we have recited a blessing. The orange I am about to eat belongs to God before I recite a blessing. I am stealing from God if I eat it without first making a blessing. God gives the fruit to me after I have recited the blessing.
We expand God’s Presence in the world when we make a blessing. We acknowledge the Source of the orange, and by doing so, have used it to enhance our relationship with God, Who sustains and feeds us, and have brought more of His Presence into the world. God gives the world to us when we use it as part of our relationship with Him.
How can we possibly “bless” God? We use the greatest power He granted us – Free Choice – to nurture our awareness of, and our relationship with, Him. We, who are willing to use our free choice to act and accept responsibility, are further empowered by God to continue to act, and the cycle continues. We are empowered to act, accept that responsibility and enhance God’s Presence in the world, and are then empowered even more.
One who isn’t willing to accept responsibility and act and thereby tap into this relationship, are considered dead even while alive. The verse describes them as “those who go down to their doom”.
Those who access this cycle of empowerment and action can experience the eternal are able to say: “We praise the Creator of Heaven and Earth – From now and forever.”