Tuesday, December 28, 2010

On Hallowing God's Name

"The purpose of Israel's existence is to sanctify God's name, that is, to attest to His existence, to publicize His oneness, and to advertise His greatness, by worshipping Him and by keeping His laws. Their failure to do so has the opposite effect: His name is profaned, that is, His fame is diminished and His reputation tarnished." - Baruch J. Schwartz in The Jewish Study Bible (Oxford, 2004), 262.

The quotation suits the Lord's Prayer to a T, but Schwartz is commenting on Leviticus 22:31-33:
You shall faithfully observe My commandments: I am the LORD. You shall not profane My holy name, that I may be sanctified [= "hallowed"] in the midst of the Israelite people -- I the LORD who sanctify you, I who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God, I the LORD. (NJPS)

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