How can one who simply agrees be greater than the original blesser?
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| Published: October 11, 2021
Hola Gidon and Shalom,
I saw this fascinating statement on Chabad.org site today. “ גה”א ימ”ה and סמו”ט אטלי”ס , alluding to גָּ׳דוֹל הָ׳עוֹנֶה אָ׳מֵן, י׳וֹתֵר מִ׳ן הַ׳מְבָרֵךְ (He who answers ‘amen’ is greater than the one who utters the blessing),5”. Obviously I only understand the English translation. Blessing generally goes from greater to lesser (wealthy to poor. Teacher to student. Parent to child etc). And ‘amen’ in my tradition is let it be so/I agree. So my friend my question is how can one who simply agrees be greater than the original blesser?
Thank you for your time and teaching
Cool! First of all, here are the elucidations and translations of the other abbreviations:
סמו”ט = סור מרע ועשה טוב.
שיל”ת = שויתי ה’ לנגדי תמיד.
אטלי”ס = אך טוב לישראל סלה.
Smot = steer away from bad and do good (psalms 34:15 [maybe 14 or 16)
Atlis = [there is] only good for Israel. Selah! (based on psalms 73 1)
(I found this on the Internet and kept in the middle one, what the heck:
Shila”t = Shiviti Hashem Lenagdi Tamid – I have placed God in front of me always (psalms 16: 8). I left it in because my rabbi changed his name to that)
Now, concerning your question, it is a very important question.
Jews say blessings at the drop of a hat.
When we eat anything
When we meet a friend after 30 days
When we hear good news
When we hear bad news
When we finish going to the bathroom
Get the idea?
In all of these blessings, we address God and say (standard translation): Blessed Art Thou (are You) oh Lord our God, King of the Universe, who [whatever].
Blessed Art Thou (are You) oh Lord our God, King of the Universe, who created the fruit of the tree.
But when we think about it, you are right, God is absolutely perfect and complete, and a blessing seems to imply that the blessings can get better.
The word bless itself is related to multiplying. God forbid that He would be multiplied – He is One! According to Judaism, Multiple gods are false gods!
Anyway, that is your question, and I admit that I do not have a good answer off the top of my head! So here are some links for you to look at. If you find something that satisfies you, please share!
Why Can Mere Humans “Bless” G‑d? – Questions & Answers
Crash Course in Jewish Blessings
Why Jews can bless GOD | Allen S. Maller | The Blogs