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G9. Clinging to God.    [Make a Comment]

We are to cling to God.

This precept is derived from His Word (blessed be He):

Key Scriptures

Genesis 32:25-31(24-30)
Then some man wrestled with him [Jacob] until daybreak. When he saw that he did not defeat Ya'akov, he struck Ya'akov's hip socket, so that his hip was dislocated while wrestling with him. The man said, "Let me go, because it's daybreak." But Ya'akov replied, "I won't let you go unless you bless me." The man asked, "What is your name?" and he answered, "Ya'akov." Then the man said, "From now on, you will no longer be called Ya'akov, but Isra'el; because you have shown your strength to both God and men and have prevailed." Ya'akov asked him, "Please tell me your name." But he answered, "Why are you asking about my name?" and blessed him there. Ya'akov called the place P'ni-El [face of God], "Because I have seen God face to face, yet my life is spared."

Deuteronomy 10:20 (Maimonides RP6, Meir MP16; Chinuch C434)
You are to fear ADONAI your God, serve him, cling to him and swear by his name.

Deuteronomy 11:22 (Maimonides RP6; Chinuch C434)
For if you will take care to obey all these mitzvot I am giving you, to do them, to love ADONAI your God, to follow all his ways and to cling to him, ...

Deuteronomy 13:5(4)
You are to follow ADONAI your God, fear him, obey his mitzvot, listen to what he says, serve him and cling to him;

Jeremiah 13:11
For just as a loincloth clings to a man's body, I made the whole house of Isra'el and the whole house of Y'hudah cling to me,' says ADONAI, 'so that they could be my people, building me a name and becoming for me a source of praise and honor.

John 15:1-5
Stay united with me, as I will with you - for just as the branch can't put forth fruit by itself apart from the vine, so you can't bear fruit apart from me. I am the vine and you are the branches. Those who stay united with me, and I with them, are the ones who bear much fruit; because apart from me you can't do a thing.


Clinging to God means that we are to tenaciously grab hold of Him and not let go. We are to derive our strength from God, trust Him, and allow nothing to separate us from Him or entice us away from Him. This becomes most meaningful during times when we are tempted us to abandon God and follow the path of self or sin. James 4:7-8a teaches that, during such times, we must

submit to God. Moreover, take a stand against the Adversary, and he will flee from you [us]. Come close to God, and he will come close to you [us].

We do this by remembering God's Word in 2 Timothy 2:26:

that [we] may come to [our] senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

Yeshua addresses this in Matthew 6:13a, in the prayer he recommends to His disciples:

And do not lead us into hard testing, but keep us safe from the Evil One.

Classical Commentators

Maimonides states his mitzvah as our being commanded to cleave (or cling) to God, and he goes on to say that the cleaving or clinging to God is accomplished through associating with wise men. Meir's and HaChinuch's mitzvot do not even mention clinging to God in the way they are stated (although Deuteronomy 10:20 is quoted as the operative Scripture); instead, they command us to attach ourselves to Torah scholars and their disciples. They then say that if we do so, it is as though we are attaching ourselves to the Shechinah. It is ironic that all three commentators choose to redirect Scripture's clear message of clinging to God, to a different message - that of clinging to men. They derive this equivalence from Talmud.


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