Honoring God

Question

If Hashem is so against us wanting honour (eg Hashem cannot live together with a baal gaavo) and we are supposed to be humble, why is it that Hashem Himself wants so much honour from us and from the angels? The whole davening is praising Hashem. And there are countless verses of Hashem asking us to honour and praise Him.

3 months

Answers

  1. Your question is an excellent one and is addressed by some of the greatest Jewish scholars, such as the Ramchal and the Leshem Shvo VeAchlamah.

    The basic approach to the idea of “God’s honor or glory” and the idea that everything was created for His honor is that the purpose of Creation was that God wants to bestow the most perfect good upon His creations. The most perfect good available to a creature is a relationship with God Himself. That relationship requires similarity to and compatibility with God, and it requires that the created being have an understanding of Who/What God is, and what He is not.

    Therefore, we imitate God through Mitzvos, we learn how to “think like God” from study of Torah, and we gain an appreciation of Who God is by praising Him, praying to Him and contemplating His world. By revealing the honor of God that is hidden in the world, we achieve a closeness to God.

    The praise of angels is basically the idea that the functioning of things in the physical and the spiritual worlds is in and of itself a “song of praise” to God. Much as Perek Shirah describes every animal and plant as singing a song to God even though they have no free will or consciousness, so also the angels. When things run as God prescribes, each part of creation sings its song to God and expresses through its functioning some attribute of God’s wisdom or goodness.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team