Monday, August 25, 2014


Deuteronomy 16:18–21:9

Rabbi Lewis Eron for Jewish Reconstructionist Communities

Melech Ha-Olam, Sovereign of All

Each time we pronounce a blessing, we are making a political statement. Within the introduction to every blessing are the words which declare that our Eternal God is melech ha-olam, Sovereign of the Universe. Every time we express our gratitude for the opportunities and experiences life offers us, we also affirm our loyalty to God as our sovereign and acknowledge our citizenship in the Divine One's dominion. In Hebrew this is called kabbalat ol malchut shamayim, accepting the yoke of the kingdom of heaven.

This basic Jewish concept appears as one of the central themes of our worship. Our tradition sees the recitation of the Shema as a way to witness our acceptance of God's rule over our lives. When we bring our worship to a conclusion with the Aleinu prayer, we thank God for our unique destiny and bow before God's sovereign power. We finish the prayer with the hope that all nations will join together acknowledging God as the Ruler of All. Earthly dominion will pass away and we all will recognize that we are God's subjects.

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