Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Contemplation of Nature

Have you ever been out walking at night, away from city lights and city noise? Have you ever been hiking through a forest of old growth trees, listening to the sounds of the wind through the boughs and the birds singing? Have you ever sat outside and listened to the snow fall? I have. And those experiences have filled me with awe at the powerful G’d who created all of this. Connecting to G’d through the beauty of the miracle of creation.

In Devarim 8:6 it says “ And you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your G’d, to go in His ways, and to fear Him.” Rambam wrote, “And what is the way to love Him and fear Him? One contemplates His deeds and His great and wondrous creatures, and one sees from these the wisdom of God, which has no valuation or end. Immediately, he loves and praises, glorifies and longs greatly to know the great G’d.” Rabbi Mordechai Gifter explains that through contemplating the wonders of nature we come to fulfill the mitzvah of loving G’d. We need only open our eyes and take a look at the wonderful world that G’d created – the mountains and valleys, seas and rivers, sun, moon, and the hosts of heaven - to realize the deep Divine wisdom hidden in everything and to reach the same conclusion as our forefather Avraham (Abraham), “There is a Master to the castle!”

The Rambam continues: “And when one thinks into these matters he is immediately drawn back, and is afraid, realizing he is a puny creation, lowly and dark, standing with insignificant knowledge before the One of perfect knowledge.” Boy howdy is this not true. So many times as I have laid on the ground and looked at the night sky filled with more stars then I can count in a lifetime, I really feel smaller then the smallest ant on the face of our planet. How insignificant this can make one feel, eh? And to compare my insignificance and “lowliness” to the greatness of G’d’s creations, well this makes me very aware of G’d’s awesome being, and maybe even some fear.

This fear AND awareness makes me thirst to know G’d, to grow closer to Him through study and worship. And in doing this study and worship, my awe of His creations increases, which in turns drives me further into study and worship. A circle it is. A circle of joy and learning. One circle I do not want to ever end.

The print show is by Bracha Lavee-Brym, a Jewish artist who was born in Poland and immigrated to Israel at the age of 9. “Bracha Lavee -Brym has produced a strikingly attractive and expressive new art form that is deeply rooted in the ancient and modern experiences of the Holy Land.”


Anonymous said...

There are times when hubby and I sit on the porch and agree that this beauty we are looking at is designed by G-D. It is so magnificent. Enjoyed your article.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much Marciad. This week covering for Toby has been a great learning experience for me.