EMUNA: ABINU, our Father

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The names by which we call or refer to HaShem have much to teach us about our Emuna. First it’s worth noting that by saying EMUNA I do not mean our believe in God’s existence or how much we should trust HaShem (the latter would be called “bitahon”). In this case I am referring to EMUNA as learning how to think about HaShem. Since many times, perhaps unwittingly, we attribute to HaShem human conditions, images or representations, etc. which reflect what we are, not what He is. Such thinking about HaShem is incorrect. The Jewish strategy is to think of HaShem through His names. Each of His names, rigorously formulated by our Tora or our Hakhamim, has something very important to teach us about HaShem. Thus, when we think about God through His names, we do not visualize an image; rather, we reflect on an idea.
Previously, we explained the name Tsur . Today we will begin to explain the name ABINU, our Father.
The first one who explicitly referred to HaShem as “our Father” was Yesha’aya haNabi (64: 7) when he said, “And now [we declare] HaShem, that You are our Father. We are like the raw material, and You shape us. All of us are the work of Your hands. “
The most obvious reason to call HaShem “our father” is because He gave us life. HaShem is literally our “progenitor”. The Rabbis said there are three partners in the creation of a person. Father, mother and HaShem. What is the difference between what our earthly parents give us and what our Heavenly Father gives us? In my own words, all what allows our bodies to function, but is immaterial or invisible to the eye, is given to us by God. Our vital energy, or neshama, i.e., the fundamental difference between the body of a living human being and that same body lifeless, that’s what HaShem gave us, so to speak, “directly”. When we are born, it’s as if HaShem repeats the original act of the creation of man, in which He breathed life into a lifeless earthly body. When we say ABINU we think of God as our creator.
To differentiate it from our earthly father (“father” here means “parent”, father and/or mother) sometimes we call HaShem “ABINU SHEBASHAMAYIM”, “Our Heavenly Father”, a term other religions borrowed from our liturgy (“Our Father… in Heaven…. “).