Festival Prayer: Lechem Rav: Ata Vichartanu

Apr 17th, 2011 by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer
“You have chosen us from all the peoples; You loved us and found favor in us; You exalted us above all the languages and You sanctified us with Your commandments. You drew us close, our Kindred, to Your service and proclaimed Your great and Holy Name upon us.”

There are seven levels of praises in this prayer: chosen, loved, found favor, exalted, sanctified us, drew us close, and, proclaimed Your great and Holy Name upon us. These seven correspond to seven holidays: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Succoth, Hanukkah, Purim, Pesach, and Shavuot.

“Chose us,” refers to Rosh Hashana, the day on which God created the world for the sake of Israel.

“You loved us,” refers to the great kindnesses we honor on Succoth.

“You found favor in us,” refers to Pesach.

“You exalted us above all the languages,” refers to Shavuot when God gave us the Torah in all 70 languages.

“You sanctified us with Your commandments,” refers to Hanukkah.

“You drew us close to Your service,” refers to Purim.

“Proclaimed Your great and Holy Name upon us,” refers to Yom Kippur when we can recite certain prayers that are usually limited to only the Ministering Angels. (Lechem Rav)

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