praise of his lips

Every morning, those of us who have an obligation to pray manage to mumble the following words:
דבריו חיים וקימים ונאמנים ונחמדים לעד ולעולמי עולמים

Once in a while, a phrase will pop out at me, the last few weeks I've been thinking about this phrase. His words live and persist. (דבריו חיים וקימים) Yes. We all know that God created the world through speech, we all think we know all kinds of things about this. Permutations of letters, souls, soulroots.

Forget all that. His words live. His words walk around, talk, breathe, eat, think, and sleep. We are walking talking words of God. [Despite what Chuck Palahniuk or Tyler Durden would have us think. "You are not a beautiful, unique snowflake..."] We do everything we do, we persist, we exist, we think. We are thinking, conscious words.

That's crazy. (In the best possible way.)

But we are words that go on. We were made in HaShem's image. We think our words vanish when they leave our mouths. We think our actions evaporate leaving only their wake in the sea of reality. Not so. Our words are HaShem's words. Our words stick around. They live. When we say something it leaves our mouth. It goes into the world like a bird let free.

Our actions too, the Zohar says that every good thing we do is inscribed in the air of Gan Eden that permeates the world. The air of Gan Eden is what allows our words and actions to persist, to be like HaShem's words. The Zohar also says that every evil thing we do is inscribed in the air of Gehinom. We know that Gehinom is a place of temporary suffering--suffering that no one would ever want to know, but temporary all the same.

When we do or say something good, it takes on a life of its own.. it lives on after us. עוד אבינו חי - our father [Yisrael] still lives. When we speak or do something evil, it dies with us. (Shakespeare got it wrong in Julius Caesar "The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones...") What does that even mean?

God's words live, They're eternal. לעד ולעולמי עולמים (loosely: forever and ever after) God's word is Good. God's word is Truth. When we speak HaShem's words, when we speak words of Good, words of Truth, they live on eternally. (מחלוקת לשם שמים סופו להתקים - a disagreement for the sake of heaven will ultimately be upheld.) The little letters of our words ascend and seek out and cleave to corresponding [huge] letters in heaven, that stand forever.

When we speak small worlds, man's words. Man's letters, they turn to dust as fast as we do.

We are living breathing words of God. That's an amazing place from which to pray.

My lips are words of God. open that his words may praise him. (אדני שפתי. תפתחו פ י-י גיד תהילתך)

[Final Addendum: the Noam Elimelech brings down Rashi explaining that God's words can be hard or soft. 'וידבר אלקים אל משה ויאמר אליו אני ה - HaShem started to speak harshly (דבר) from a place of Elokim, but because of His love for Moshe, he switches to the form אמר, a softer form of speech using the name of Havayah.]


Related posts

Blog Widget by LinkWithin