(c) 2000 Dr Hendel; 1st appeared in Torah Forum (c) Project Genesis

Date: Sun, 26 Dec 1999 21:06:57 -0500 (EST)
From: Russell Hendel <  rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu>
Subject: Re: Does Hashem Need Mankind?

Why do we make blessings and why does Hashem who is Perfect need our blessings

A beautiful answer is presented by Rav Hirsch in his etymology of BaRuCH=TO
BLESS. Rav Hirsch says it comes from BRCH=KNEE. Just as we get the verb "to
hand" from the noun "hand" and just as we get the verbs "to eye", "to
finger" "to give an ear" from the nouns eye, finger and ear so too, posits
Rav Hirsch, we get the the verb TOO BLESS from the noun KNEE.

How? The knee FACILITATES movement. You can walk (stilted) without knees;
by having knees you can walk faster and smoother. Thus to TO BLESS someone
means to KNEE-IZE them or to "give them a knee"... to make their project
swifter and smoother. This is consistent with the metaphor that G-d "walks"
thru human history....to BLESS G-D is "to give Him a knee" and help Him go
thru human history quicker and smoother.

And why does a perfect G-d need our help? The above analysis of Rav Hirsch
answers this. For it is well known that G-d will complete human history
(with the arrival of the Messiah) independent of man's behavior. However if
we behave ourselves then the Messiah will come FASTER. This FASTER is
exactly the blessing or the KNEE we give G-d when He walks thru human
history---we enable the Messiah to come faster.

Russell Hendel; Phd ASA; Math; Towson univ;