Tefillah Tips: Ashrei XII

“טוב ה’ לכל ורחמיו על כל מעשיו – G-d is good unto all and provides mercy unto all of his creatures.” In the Siddur Otzar Hatefillos it is written that the entire psalm of Ashrei is worth reciting just for this verse. The meaning and implications of this verse are of such profundity that it stands out amidst the other verses of the acrostic.

The first part of the verse, טוב ה’ לכל–G-d is good unto all, means humanity, while the second part- ורחמיו על כל מעשיו – includes all other forms of life in G-d’s world. ורחמיו על כל מעשיו –G-d  provides mercy unto all of his creatures ; even amoeba, salamanders, and rodents.

The largesse of G-d’s goodness mentioned in the verse is not limited to the wide scope of G-d’s care and involvement in every micro dimension of the creation, but He shares His goodness even to those that rebel and contradict His will.

טוב ה’ לכל – Hashem is intrinsically and all powerfully good unto all. G-d does not discriminate. All mankind enjoy the same sun, moon, stars, and rainbows, as well as divine mercy, care, and protection (if they merit it).  Everyone (including non-Jews) has the right and obligation to adhere to the laws contained in the Torah (some 7 and some 613).

What a lesson! How different a world we would live in if we His children would learn from Hashem and follow His example and be good unto all- not just to people that we are comfortable with.

Take Home Tip: One’s display of goodness and kindness in life should be consistent and all inclusive to all fellow creatures of G-d. We learn this lesson from Hashem himself, who is טוב ה’ לכל ורחמיו על כל מעשיו – humans and animals, loyal servants and even self-professed enemies all benefit from His world.

As we prepare for Rosh Hashannah, let’s strive to emulate Hashem as best we can. One of the ways is to fulfill this verse: טוב ה’ לכל ורחמיו על כל מעשיו.

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