Office of the Chief Rabbi

D’var Torah: Parashat Noach

In this week’s D’var Torah the Chief Rabbi points out that the first three people to use the phrase ‘Baruch Hashem’ are not who you might have expected.

That’s how so many conversations commence and sometimes one wants to say to the person ‘well why don’t you really tell me how you are?!’ But actually that’s the whole point because Baruch Hashem means: regardless of whether things are fantastic in our lives or whether we’re enduring deep challenges, we look heavenwards and we say ‘Blessed are You Hashem.’ Because we accept that whatever Hashem does, he does for our good.

Because we accept that whatever Hashem does, he does for our good.

Now, who was the very first person who was on record saying Baruch Hashem? It was Noach. In the aftermath of the flood, he declared ‘Baruch Hashem Elokei shem – Blessed is the Lord God of Shem.’ And who was the second person? It was Eliezer. When he came to Mesopotamia in search of a wife for Isaac, somebody who would be the next matriarch of our people. His test at the well side worked so well, so once Rivkah had offered to provide water for him and for his camels he turned heavenwards and said ‘Baruch Hashem Elokei Adoni Avraham – Blessed is the Lord God of my master Avraham.’ Who was the third person to say Baruch Hashem? It was Yitro, Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law. When the two were reunited after the exodus from Egypt, Yitro declared ‘Baruch Hashem Asher Hitzil Etchem M’Yad Mitzrayim – Blessed is the Lord who has saved you from the hand of Egypt.’

Now what I find fascinating is the fact that these three original ‘Baruch Hashems’ were said not by those who were part of our covenantal relationship with the Almighty; not by members of the Israelite people but rather, by outstanding individuals who were able to notice the power of Hashem, the glory of Hashem, the greatness of Hashem in delivering mankind.

Now what I find fascinating is the fact that these three original ‘Baruch Hashems’ were said not by those who were part of our covenantal relationship with the Almighty

And I think the conclusion for us is clear: if they, Noach Eliezer and Yitro, can exclaim Baruch Hashem, then Kal V’Chomer, how much more so should we, who see the hand of Hashem in our lives at all times, enthusiastically declare Baruch Hashem – blessed is the Lord, thank you Hashem for everything you do for us.

Shabbat shalom.

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