Friday, September 12, 2008

A little more on Help

Nowhere in the ancient texts can I find a reference to b`ezrat HaShem.

The three texts in the Psalter with keyword like 'B`ZR%' are
from Psalm 35:2 - a petition: Rise to my help וְקוּמָה, בְּעֶזְרָתִי
and Psalm 118 - a statement of assurance: יְהוָה is to me as my helper יְהוָה לִי, בְּעֹזְרָי
and Psalm 146 - a statement of hope: אַשְׁרֵי--שֶׁאֵל יַעֲקֹב בְּעֶזְרוֹ Happy is the one who has the God of Jacob for his help

(`ZR is used 40 times in the Psalter.)
Not only is the ayin lost in transliteration, but any conditional sentiment (if the Lord will help) is not there. While God as Help is definitely in the text, it is always as promise - The Lord will help us and speedily, or as prayer - O Lord make haste to help us, or as failure (Lamentations). There is nothing passive that I can find that corresponds to the opportunism or even fatalism implied in Deo volente. Rather faith is active by urgent petition or confidence, and God promises to be present to faith whatever the outcome. Help is never conditional.

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