The Calling Card
I’m sure you have noticed. Numerous times in the Torah and throughout our prayers, including the High Holiday prayers, G-d is referred to as “G-d, who took you out of Egypt”. Indeed, that is how G-d refers to Himself in the opening verse of the Ten Commandments.
Now don’t get me wrong, extracting the Jews from Egypt is certainly very impressive, but is it the most impressive calling card for the G-d who created the entire universe and everything in it, ex-nihilo? Wouldn’t it be better for the Ten Commandments to say, “I am the Lord, your G-d, who created the entire universe”?
In truth, this is a famous question, and there are a number of excellent answers, today we will focus on one.
The Big Picture
We live in a world where people are uncertain about G-d. Are people actually atheists? I think that there are very few real atheists, people who deny G-d’s existence. More common are agnostics, people who don’t know if G-d exists. Even more common are people who understand that this world, with all of its incredible wonders could not have come into existence randomly. This world, full of wonderful creations, had to have a creator, and that creator must be G-d.
Yes, they believe in G-d, a G-d of creation, a G-d of the big picture, but don’t necessarily believe in a personal G-d, a G-d who cares about you, and is there for you.
The Ten Commandments introduces G-d as the G-d who took you out of Egypt to remind us that G-d isn’t merely the G-d of the big picture, G-d is also the G-d of the small picture. G-d saw the suffering in Egypt, and put an end to it.
Rosh Hashanah: Acknowledging the King
What is Rosh Hashanah? Sure, it is the start of the new year, but it is so much more than that. It is the day we acknowledge Hashem/G-d as the king. The king of the universe, the king of the world, and my king. We humbly stand before G-d and acknowledge that He is the creator of life and the source of life, who has the ability to heal every illness, resolve any problem, and mend every broken heart. Our prayers on behalf of our families, our people, our countries, and the world, are testament to our belief in Him, the G-d of the big picture, and the G-d of the small picture, the G-d who took you out of Egypt.