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For Me or His Sake?

For September 20, 2022

Tehillim - Psalms 115: 1

לֹ֤א לָ֥נוּ יְהֹוָ֗ה לֹ֫א־לָ֥נוּ כִּֽי־לְ֭שִׁמְךָ תֵּ֣ן כָּב֑וֹד עַל־חַ֝סְדְּךָ֗ עַל־אֲמִתֶּֽךָ׃

"G-d, do not be kind to us for our sake - not because we deserve it. Rather, be kind to give honor to Your Name among the nations by showing them Your kidness and Your truth. Radak points out that there are manuscripts in which Psalm 114 and 115 form one whole. G-d saved the people from Egypt, not because the people themselves were so good at the time, but because He had promised it to their forefathers. And not only that, but also for the glory of His Name.

Pharaoh asked: “Who is HaShem that I should heed him and let Israel go? I do not know HaShem nor will I let Israel go.” (Exodus 5:2)

After the frist miracles and signs we hear him say:Thereupon Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron and said to them, “I stand guilty this time.HaShem is Righteous One and I and my people are in the wrong.(Exodus 9:26)

But that could mean that Pharaoh could be "vindicated" a next time.

From this Psalm we can learn that God is "more than" Just. He looks beyond the mere weighing up of deeds and whether that brings punishment or reward. He takes everything into consideration. In the case of the people, also the merits of the forefathers and the honour of His Own Name.

G-d is not "only" just, but also gracious, loving and merciful.

This is something that we Noahides may have experienced in our lives. For is it our merit or the merit of our forefathers that HaShem has helped us to see His Light? Maybe, for who knows exactly we are our forefathers, but most of the time we will not know.

If we depended only on His Righteousness we might never have become Noahide, but for whatever reason HaShem has been gracious to us and has given us more than we were "entitled" to at first glance.

If we have this humble attitude and radiate it to the world, perhaps others will also recognise something of His light in us. So that, by His grace to us, His Name may become more known in the world through us.

Brought By Angelique Sijbolts


Angelique Sijbolts is one of the main writers for the Noahide Academy. She has been an observant Noahide for many years. She studies Torah with Rabbi Perets every week. Angelique invests much of her time in editing video-lectures for the Rabbis of the Academy and contributes in administrating the Academy's website in English and Dutch. She lives in the north of the Netherlands. Married and mother of two sons. She works as a teacher in a school with students with special needs. And is a Hebrew Teacher for the levels beginners and intermediate. She likes to walk, to read and play the piano.



Chabadapp: chumash with Rashi


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