God's Unfathomable Love

Rabbi Shai Held

Parashat BeHar-BeHukotai

God dreams of living among a people who will be faithful—who will serve only God, who will construct a society in which justice and decency prevail. But God’s dreams are thwarted at every turn: Israel repeatedly descends into idolatry and allows the powerful to take advantage of the weak. Reading the prophets, one frequently wonders whether the covenant between God and Israel will finally come to an ignominious end. Yet it never does. Time and again, just when it seems that Israel’s relationship with God has been irreparably breached, new hope emerges. The message of these texts is clear: Despite the depth of God’s anguish, God will not abandon the people. To understand why is to learn something fundamental—and potentially transformative—about the God Jews worship. (5775)