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Yotzeir Ohr: Eternal Praises

“May You be blessed, God, our Lord, in the heavens above and on the earth below, beyond all the praises of Your handiwork and beyond the bright luminaries that You have formed – may they glorify You – Selah!” (Blessing Before Morning Shema)

The Holy One, Blessed is He, said to Israel: “Prior to creating My world, the ministering angels would praise Me and sanctify My name through you, by saying, ‘Blessed is God, Lord of Israel, from this world to the World to Come.’” Once Adam was created, the ministering angels said before the Holy One, Blessed is He, “Master of the Universe! Is this by whom we are praising in his name?” He responded, “No! He is a thief,” as it is stated, And you ate of the tree about which I commanded you “You shall not eat of it.’” Then Noah came along. They asked God, “Is this the one?” He responded, “No! This one is a drunkard.” Then Abraham…Isaac. When Jacob came along, the angels asked, “Is this the one?” God responded, “Yes!” And so it states, “Your nation shall no longer be called Jacob, but rather Israel shall be your name.” (Genesis 35:10) At that moment, the Holy One, Blessed is He, sanctified Israel by His name, as it is stated, “Israel, in whom I shall take glory.” (Isaiah 49:3) – Midrash Tanchuma, Kedoshim 2)

The angels were praising God using Israel’s name before Adam even existed. Their praises of God are beyond time. They praise God for that which will be and happen. Part of their job is to show that all that happens was part of the original plan of creation. (See Tanna D’Bei Eliyahu, Chapter 14) All of time existed in that first moment, which empowers the angels to have the foresight of all that will be.

The angels do not only describe Israel’s future and destiny. They see all that is hidden in all parts of creation. They recognize the potential of everything that exists to manifest God’s Presence and Glory.

The morning blessings and Pesukei D’zimrah have prepared us to join with the ministering angels as they praise the Creator. The praises in this blessing rise above the limitations of time and connect us to that first moment of creation when it was clear how each detail reflects the Infinite Glory of God.

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