16 September 2015

The Master of the World and All His Creations

The Master of the World and All His Creations 

The following prayer we make with a full heart. This prayer declares G-D the Master over all. We sing this proudly, in all humbleness, knowing that is a Creator of everything we interact with, the Master over our lives. As I was reciting this hymm, it reminded me of something (below)

Ein Kelokeinu* is sung daily after the morning prayers in Eretz Yisrael and at the conclusion of the Rosh HaShana prayers when we crown HaShem King. The words in English (link to Hebrew below):

There is none like our God, there is none like our Master,
There is none like our king, there is none like our saviour.

Who is like our God, who is like our Master,
Who is like our king, who is like our saviour.

Let us thank our God, let us thank our Master,
Let us thank our king, Let us thank our saviour.

Blessed be our God, blessed be our Master,
Blessed be our king, blessed be our savior.

Thou art our God, thou art our Master,
Thou art our king, thou art our savior.

Thou art the one before whom our fathers
offered the spice offering  
(in the Temple on Mt Moriah in Jerusalem).

To view the Hebrew and transliteration as sung visit Zemirot (sefardi liturgy).

Rosh Hashana is the day that we recognize 
the Sovereignty of G-d the King,
Creator of the universe and Judge of all mankind. 
The day on which 
"all beings pass before Him like tender sheep," 
Rosh Hashana's message is truly universal: 
it is incumbent upon all mankind to accept upon ourselves 
G-d's Sovereignty, 
and to take account of our thoughts and actions, 
in light of this awesome recognition.

The word Master was recently in the news:

Abolish the word 'Master' (?)

A professor at Yale University is attempting to stamp out the use of the word “master” at the school, claiming it is so offensive to the college’s black and female students that some have had to move off campus to avoid it.

"I think there should be no context in our society or in our university in which an African-American student, professor, or staff member—or any person, for that matter—should be asked to call anyone ‘master’ … And there should be no context where male-gendered titles should be normalized as markers of authority.”

Also Picking the Right Words to Ban From Campus

What happens to the Master's Degree program? 
Why abolish it? What do the want to rename it?

While these establishments of educational training might have good intentions in their current actions of banning offensive word labeling, it came to mind while saying our Rosh HaShana prayers that we Crown G-D King of the world and our special relationship to Him as Master. We acknowledge that He is the Creator and Master of the universe, earth and all mankind, that means animals, plants, weather, men, women, and professors.

When someone doesn't acknowledge a universal ruler 
and master over everything, 
it lessens and degrades all of creation, 
claiming everything is on the same level, 
nothing is distinct, nothing has originality. 
Once everything has been brought so low, 
next after this is denying chv"s a Creator altogether.


*This prayer appears in the liturgy as early as the Siddur Rav Amram (ca 875) - where the first verse is "Who is like ..." and the second verse is "There is none like ...", but the present sequence appears in the Mahzor Vitry and in Rashi (both late 11th century) and a century later in Maimonides. The present sequence is viewed as, first, a declaration against all other religions, then a challenge to all other religions, and thereafter as worship. Additionally, Abudraham (ca. 1340) pointed that that the initial "א" from the first verse, the "מ" from the second, and the "נ" from the third formed Amen, and taking the Barukh from the fourth verse and the Atah from the final verse, together produce "Amen. Blessed are Thou" - as if the end of one prayer and the beginning of another, and this serves as a suitable mnemonic to keep the verses in proper sequence.(Wikipedia)

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