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Rav Schwab: Morning Blessings of Shema

“He formed all this goodness as glory for His name.” We now climb yet higher on this ladder, and gain an overview of the entire physical universe, with all its heavenly bodies. According to Rav Hirsch, the word “good” here is a metaphor for all of creation: “And the Lord saw all that He had made, and behold it was very good (Genesis 1:31).” Our phrase then means, “He formed all this goodness as glory for his name.”

This corresponds to the saying of our sages, “All that the Holy One, Blessed is He, created in his world, He created solely for His glory. (Avot 6:11).” The word glory, as used here, does not have the usual meaning, “honor,” of which God, in His perfection, has no need; rather, it means “glory,” with the meaning, “an affirmation that he exists.” He makes his presence known by virtue of His creations. This is similar to, “I wish to make Pharaoh know that I exist (Exodus 14:4).”

We are declaring our intention to bring “honor” to God by using our actions to make Him “known.”

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