The Chiddushei HaRim associates this question with a similar question we find in a Gemara regarding the name of the assembly of Torah greats that functioned during the Babylonian exile and at the beginning of the second Beis HaMikdash.
R’ Yehoshua ben Levi asks, “Why are they called Anshei K’nesses HaGedola – Men of the Great Assembly? Because they returned the crown to its former glory. Moshe said, ‘God, the great, the strong and the awesome.’ Yirmiyahu said, ‘Gentiles are cackling in His sanctuary. Where is the awe?’ (Therefore), he did not say, ‘the awesome.’ Daniel said, ‘Gentiles are enslaving His children. Where is His strength?’ (Therefore), he did not say, ‘the strong.’ They came and said, ‘Just the opposite. His strength is because He overcomes His anger and displays patience to the wicked. His awesomeness is because if it weren’t for the fear of God, one nation (
Yirmiyahu and Daniel never removed the appellation “great” and it therefore never had to be returned. It is true that the Anshei K’nesses HaGedola returned, “the strong” and, “the awesome” but why is this a reason to call their assembly, “great?” The Chiddushei HaRim explains that the Anshei K’nesses HaGedola did more than give a novel definition to God’s awesomeness and strength during the exile. They realized that God’s patience towards our enemies and the trying circumstances in which we survived the exile were the very key to making the subsequent redemption complete. After the redemption from our enemies in
The Chiddushei HaRim applies this same concept to the Creation. The Creation is an expression of God’s glory. However, this only became apparent when the Creation was completed, on Shabbos. Then it became clear that the entire Creation is really one tool, each part of which works toward the common goal of revealing God’s glory. When we say that it became clear, the meaning is that it became clear to man. God created the world for man to recognize Him through it. Before the nation of
The Sfas Emes adds to this. The Rambam says that Avraham Avinu yearned for an entire nation to affirm God’s rule. God then promised him, “I will make you into a great nation.” The pasuk tells us, though, that the nation of