Sunday, 27 July 2014
Shacharit reflections from Ohev
Toward the end of the traditional weekday morning prayer service, just before we conclude and prepare for our dealings with the world around us, a series of prayers known as Tachanun is recited. Tachanun is translated as a plea for G-d's grace and compassion, and it represents a moment of intimate prayer connection with our Heavenly Redeemer on behalf of ourself and our people.
At a point late in the Tachanun service we address G-d as Shomer Yisrael/Guardian of Israel, Shomer Goy Echad/Guardian of a Unique Nation and Shomer Goy Kadosh/Guardian of a Holy Nation, and among the prayers offered is that Hashem would guard the remnant of Israel, and that none would perish. One of the scriptural sources of this prayer spoken over the remnant of Israel is Zephaniah 3:13, where it says
"She'erit Yisrael Lo-Ya'asu Av'lah ... The remnant of Israel will not do wrong, nor will they speak lies, nor will there be found in their mouths a tongue given over to deceit; for they will be able to graze and lie down, with no one to disturb them." (CJB)
Throughout history, within the House of Israel a faithful remnant, often in the minority, has honored its spiritual heritage and has committed to maintain covenant relationship with G-d despite pressures to assimilate into or compromise with the world.
And the apostle James, in Acts 15, reminds us that Messianic Gentiles too can participate in restoring and preserving a faithful Jewish remnant:
"'After this, I will return; and I will rebuild the fallen tent of David. I will rebuild its ruins, so that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, that is, all the Goyim who have been called by my name,' says Adonai, who is doing these things."