Monday, 3 October 2011

The small thin voice

I want to take a few moments of your time to reflect on a few small words from the piyut: unetana Tokef which we read during Musaf on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur:

The context is Yom Hadin- the day of Judgement which is announced in heaven:

“A great Shofar sounds and a (kol demama daka)small thin voice will be heard”

Quite a strange phenomena to be using this idea of a small thin voice in relation to G-d and the Yom HadIn.

Look at the reaction of the celestial beings:

“Angels rush forward and are held by trembling /shaking”.

The actual source of this idea of the Kol demama dakah- the small thin voice- comes from the Book of Kings I. The Prophet Elijah is on Mt Carmel, the Prophets of Baal- the false heathen worshippers are pursuing him.

He finds himself alone in a cave on the side of the mountain.

He is told by G-d to go out onto the Mountain

Suddenly there was a great and strong wind that tore the mountains and broke the rocks before G-d.
Lo beruach Hashem
G-d was not to be found in the wind.

Then there was  an earthquake
Lo beraash Hashem
G-d was not to be found in the earthquake

And after the earthquake there was fire
Lo ba-aish Hashem
G-d was not to be found in the fire

And after the fire there was the Kol demama daka
A small thin voice and G-d appeared to Elijah.

The Kol demama daka announces that’s it in the small things- the details of creation where the infinitude of G-d is to be found.

I think there is here a little message: we emulate G-d as the Torah says Vehalachta bidrachav- Walk in His ways.

And just as G-d is too be found in the small thin voice – the beautiful details of creation- so too it is with our small deeds – the little act – this is what Hashem wants from each and every one of us.
In the words of Rav Soloveitchik;
Sometimes it is the small, modest, unseen act, the seemingly insignificant deed unnoticed and hardly discernible is precisely the one which fulfils a higher plane than through great renowned heroism.

Teshuva Tefillah utzedaka maaviril et roah hagezerah.

It’s through our deeds that we can make the difference.

Wishing you all a Gemar Chatima Tovah– you should be written and inscribed for a Happy Healthy and sweet New Year. Amen

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