Yom Shabbat, 10 Tammuz 5778
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Aveinu Malkeinu, act for Your sake, if not for ours.

A bedrock concept within Jewish theology which is too little noticed is that God has a stake in the outcome of our lives. As one reads the High Holy Day liturgy, it might seem that God is sitting in judgment of our lives, dispensing justice but also compassion simply as an act of mercy on God’s part. It is important to note, however, that in several places in our High Holy Day, as well as daily, prayer we remind God that without us there is no one to recognize God’s greatness or to praise God’s Name. Moreover, without us there is no one to perform God’s will on earth. Our God is not a neutral observer and judge. God has an interest in our living meaningful and fulfilling lives because, in doing so, we bear witness to God’s Presence in our lives. Without us, God is the proverbial tree in the forest. It has often been speculated as to why God creates humanity in the first place. Perhaps the reason behind Creation is that without humanity, what is the point in being God? As we traverse the Days of Awe, we do not do so alone. We walk the road of life with a true Partner, the One invested in the lives of us all.

--Rabbi Alan Freedman