Finding Faith

October 11, 2016 at 2:11 PM , , ,

“…He found them in a desert land…” –  Devarim 32:10

ימצאהו בארץ מדבר – דברים לב, י

Rashi explains this verse as praise of the Jewish people: “G-d found them faithful to Him in a desert land, for they accepted His Torah, His sovereignty and His yoke upon themselves.”

Why does the Torah refer to the Jewish people’s faith as something that G-d “found”?

A “find” is an object of value that comes to a person unexpectedly. In the words of the Talmud (Sanhedrin 97a), a find happens without planning—b’hesach hadaas, “in absence of cognizance.” As such, the idea of G-d “finding” Bnei Yisrael alludes to His bond with the Jewish people that transcends any “cognizance”, order, structure, or limit.

finding-faith

G-d’s “unplanned” and unrestricted attachment to the Jewish people mirrors our faithfulness to Him, which can likewise be described as a “find.” Our faith, by definition, is a commitment to G-d that transcends reason; we follow G-d loyally, whether we understand His ways or not. Our faith is therefore comparable to a “find” that is not the product of rational thinking alone.

Rashi alludes to this idea when he says the Jews, “Accepted G-d’s Torah, His sovereignty and His yoke upon themselves.” These words emphasize that in addition to accepting G-d’s Torah, which they could learn and comprehend, the Jewish people also accepted G-d’s kingship and yoke, submitting themselves to Him unconditionally, without any (rational) limits whatsoever.

Therefore, just as our super-rational faith is comparable to a “find,” so is G-d’s commitment to us like a “find”—it utterly transcends any system or reason.

 

—Likutei Sichos, vol. 34, p. 210

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