Larchmont Temple Chevra Torah

Questioning faith in the parsha

God’s compassion

“Therefore, if he cries out to me, I will pay heed, for I am compassionate”

It’s not just because of the eternal figure of Job and all his brothers and sisters throughout history that we may have difficulty in discerning God’s compassion.  In the Torah, and at best, God honours  His covenant with Israel. It is we who are required to be compassionate, with one another and with ourselves. That is the message we all seem to take, and are surely expected to take, from this passage.

My question is why, in Exodus 24:26, does it say “therefore”? That would suggest that God’s paying heed, God’s compassion,  follows logically or naturally from the preceding verses. Where is the link? Does the meaning change if we remove the “therefore”?

Or is the “therefore” an anticipation of the “for”, so that we should read: Because I am compassionate, I will pay heed ? And how will God pay heed? How are we supposed to understand this?

Buddhists say that if your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete. Are we the vehicles of God’s compassion for Him/Herself?



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