Ha’azinu – Rock of Creation
The song of Ha’azinu begins with reference to
As a verb, tzur usually means to besiege a city — to exercise power through restrictive confinement. But tzur also means to shape or to form. Thus, tzurah is a shape. For all shaping and forming entails the permanent and firm limitation of the material within the demarcation lines of the desired purpose.
The noun tzur expresses two related concepts: unchanging stability and the hardness that overcomes all other material. As applied to
Here, the name Tzur is used not in relation to Creation, but in relation to Israel. In this context, the name expresses a dual certainty. Israel knows that
Tzur, the verse continues, “His work is perfect, for all His ways are justice.” This dynamic formative activity expressed in the name Tzur is “perfect.” Not only is the product perfect, but the work — the creative activity, the action-in-progress — is perfect. Man’s unfinished work is incomplete. Human activity is made up of a range of incomplete actions that are joined together, complementing and correcting one another with difficulty, trying to reach completion. By contrast,
All His ways, not only the ultimate goal, are justice: they carry out justice and they realize at every moment what is right for those affected by His ruling. He is Tzur Olamim, the Rock Whose justice is perfect and immutable.
- Sources: Commentary, Devarim 32:4