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    A musical note makes a difference – Va’era

    Not only the words of the Torah but even the musical notes are important.

    An example is a verse in today’s parashah v’natati otah lachem morashah ani HaShem – “I will give it (the land) to you as a heritage: I am the Lord” (Ex. 6:8).

    The musical notes offer another possibility – “I will give it; I the Lord am your heritage”.

    Though this is probably not what the verse meant, it does convey a lesson. Whence do we derive our belief in God? The verse suggests an answer. We know there is a God because of tradition.

    The Baal Shem Tov asked why we begin the Amidah by calling the Almighty “Our God and God of our fathers”.

    “Our God” is the God we arrive at through our own heart, soul and mind; “God of our fathers” is the God of our heritage. Each phrase amplifies the other.

    If He were only “our God” our belief might be too subjective, so “God of our fathers” gives us objectivity. But if He were only the “God of our fathers” we might lack a personal relationship with him.

    Both phrases are necessary.

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