Posts Tagged ‘Shavuot’

6
Jun

Shavuot Hallel: Paragraph Eight

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

“Give thanks to God for He is good; His kindness endures forever!” (Psalms 118:1) My principal in 1964, Rabbi Chaim Nussbaum zt”l, used to say that this verse immediately follows the previous paragraph that spoke of all nations praising God, with the message that praise is not enough! Give thanks! Praise is easy. Saying “Thank you,” is difficult.

We sing this Psalm to all of creation as an expression of our appreciation that all of God’s good is eternal. Our Shavuot Hallel focuses on our awareness of the eternal good of all the Torah we study. We also pray that we should always be privileged to sense the eternal good in our Torah study.

“Give thanks to God for He is good; His kindness endures forever!” (Psalms 118:1) Rabbi Chaim Palagi (Chaim Larosh) compares this to the verse in Proverbs (27:14) that warns us that when we praise someone’s generosity we are actually hurting him, because people will stream to him for help, and he may lose all that he has. (See Aruchin 16a)

However, God’s good is Infinite. We, who sense that unlimited good through His Torah, do not hesitate to shout out God’s praises so that everyone will be  inspired to turn to Him for help.

This verse is our declaration to the world to, “Turn to God. He, of Infinite good, will respond!”

“God is with me. I have no fear. How can man affect me?” (Psalms 118:6) The Talmud (Berachot 60b) relates, “Our Rabbis taught: It once happened with Hillel the Elder that he was coming from a journey, and he heard a great cry in the city, and he said: I am confident that this does not come from my house. Of him Scripture says: “He shall not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in God.” (Psalms 112:7)

Rabbi Itzeleh of Volozhin (Peh Kadosh) explains that one who truly trusts in God does not fear anything or anyone else.

We sing this verse with the awareness of those moments when we experienced this level of Trust in God while studying Torah. It is our declaration that we acknowledge that this is how we should always live. It is also a prayer that we should merit constantly living with that level of trust.

“”I shall not die! But I shall live and relate the deeds of the Creator!” (Psalms 118:17)  It doesn’t begin with “I shall live!” It begins with, “I shall not die!” This reflects the words of the Zohar (Volume II 158b), “Torah can only thrive in one who is willing to die in it.” I must be willing to dedicate every ounce of my life toward Torah. This verse is our exhalation that no matter how much I may feel that “I am dying for Torah,” “I shall not die!” There is no life other than Torah, a life that I will use to relate the deeds of the Creator. (Rabbi Yosef Tzvi MiSacronavitch – Sh’eirit Yosef)

“Please, God, save now!” (Psalms 118:25) Save us now with redemption. “Bring success,” (Verse 26) so that we can use the Redemption to continue to grow and attach to You, and so we can thank You as one released from prison with, “Blessed is he who comes in the Name of God. We bless you from the House of God.” (Rabbi Eliezer son of Rav Natan of Mayence  The Ra’avan)

We picture the Redemption as real as our experience at Revelation, with prayers that we maximize this opportunity, as described in the verses that follow.

“Bind the festival offering with cords until the corners of the Altar.” (Psalms 118:27) Please, God, bind our experiences of the Hallel to us, so that we can remained connected to Your Altar of Service, even after the Chag has ended. (Chiddushei HaRim)

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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6
Jun

Festival Prayers: Birchat Kohanim II

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

“So shall you bless the Children of Israel.” According to the plain meaning of the text the words mean: “in this style you are to pronounce the blessing.” We have the same expression “Koh,”  being used in Numbers 8:7 where the Torah describes the procedure for purifying the Levites.

A midrashic approach based on Midrash Tanchuma, Nasso #9:  the words, “So shall you bless,” meaning that God gave those words to the Kohanim as a gift so that they would have the power to bless Israel. Seeing that in addition to this gift God would assign them another 24 gifts from the Children of Israel, with this gift they would dispose of 25 gifts corresponding to the numerical value in the word, “Koh.”

In Sotah we are taught additionally that the word contains a number of restrictions with in it: the language in which they are to bestow the blessing must be Hebrew. It requires further that the blessing be administered while they are standing. They are to raise their hands while performing the blessing. They are to face the recipients of the blessing. The blessing must be pronounced loudly and, in the Temple, they were to pronounce the Ineffable Name while intoning the blessing. Some of these rules are based on Leviticus 9:22, “Aaron raised his hands and blessed the people.” The words, “they are to place My Name,” is the source of the Ineffable Name being invoked. The use of the expression, “My Name,” in our verse and the same expression in Deuteronomy 12:5, “to place My Name,” serve as the basis for this law. Just as in Deuteronomy, the Ineffable Name was to be invoked in the Temple, the subject matter of the verse, so here too the blessing with the Ineffable Name is used only in the Temple.

A Kabbalistic approach: The word, “Koh,” represents the 10th attribute, the one always employed by the prophets when they convey messages they have received from God to deliver to the Jewish people. The extra letter “H” is reminiscent of the last letter in the Tetragram, a letter we have several times described as the attribute of Justice in its tempered form. The Kohanim when blessing the people and directing God’s largesse in their direction are also to have in mind this same letter which is used to guide the fate of the Jewish people containing an element of the attribute of Chesed within it.

“Saying to them,” there is an extra letter “Vav,”  which stretches the word, makes it longer, to suggest to the Kohanim that they must not relate to the duty to bless the people as a burden imposed upon them by God, something they want to be done with as soon as possible, in a hurry. On the contrary, they should bless the people with all the concentration they are capable of.

Another reason for the addition of this letter is that the numerical value of the word including the digit 14 the word itself, is 248. The blessing is absorbed by all 248 limbs and organs of a person. If only one organ were left out this could be the heart upon which all other organs are so vitally dependent.

The mystical element in the number is that it corresponds to the Divine Presence which rests on the palms of the Kohanim hidden there as if it were the heart of the heavens reciting the blessing. Both celestial and terrestrial forces receive their blessings from the Part of the Heaven.

When the Kohen extends his 10 fingers toward heaven, he signals to God that he desires to sanctify himself with all the sanctities embodied in the 10 Emanations, asking for the abundance of God’s goodness to be channeled toward His creatures when Earth by means of the conduits God has available for that purpose. The word, “Et,”  in the sequence includes the Angels in this direction. The words, “Say to them,” is sort of a repetition to make certain all the disembodied Angels both above and below certain layers of the heavens are included.

Another lesson to be derived from the extra letter in the word is that the Chazzan is to call upon the Kohanim to intoned the blessing by pronouncing the word, “Kohanim,” and to pronounce each word separately before the Kohanim repeat it in chorus.

The very fact that the law deems it necessary to brief the Kohanim word for word reflects that this is the practice in the Celestial regions where the angels who act as Kohanim in the Celestial Sanctuary are following the same routine. This is the mystical dimension of the Talmudic teaching that every Kohen performing the commandment of blessing the people is himself the subject of a blessing. The Talmud means that the Kohen ministering on earth will in turn become the recipient of blessings from the Source, the essence of Mercy in the heavenly regions; this is the meaning of what God promised Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you.” In other words, the Kohanim down here are patterning themselves after known role models in the celestial regions. (Rabbeinu Bachya; Numbers 6:23)

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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6
Jun

Shavuot Hallel: Paragraph Seven

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

“Praise God, all nations; praise Him, all the states! For His kindness has overwhelmed us, and the truth of God is eternal, Halleluyah!” (Psalm 117) The Malbim (Psalm 100) explains that “Nations” refers to those who may witness powerful things but do not reflect on what they see. They do not use their experiences to develop their thinking or themselves. The “Nations” will praise the Name of God, without a sense of anything personal.

“The States,” refers to those who reflect on what they see, and consider what they should learn from their experiences. They can relate to “Him,” on a personal level, not just a Name.

This Psalm reflects the influence of our Torah study. When we simply study, without integrating the Torah into our personal development, we will only succeed in speaking to the”Nations,” without inspiring them to reflect and reify what they learn about God.

However, when we approach Torah as Torat Chaim, immediately applicable to our lives, and we apply the Torah’s wisdom to our personal development, we will influence others to respond as “States,” as people who will reflect on the Torah’s lessons and strive for a more personal relationship with God.

We sing this Psalm on Shavuot with rejoicing over the gift of Torah to inspire the world. We pray that our Torah study will create an influence and inspiration for our Torah study to speak to people who will use everything they learn and experience to attach to God.

“Praise God, all nations; praise Him, all the states! For His kindness has overwhelmed us, and the truth of God is eternal, Halleluyah!” (Psalm 117) We pray for the day when all the nations of the earth will acknowledge God’s Kindness in forcing Israel to accept the Torah, for it was only when we accepted the Covenant of Torah that we gave meaning to existence. (Michtam L’David – Rabbi David Sperber)

We sing this short Psalm as our expression of joy that we were given the opportunity to give meaning to Creation. We pray that our Torah study and observance succeed in giving that meaning, and in inspiring others to realize the Infinite kindness of Torah.

“Praise God, all nations; praise Him, all the states! For His kindness has overwhelmed us, and the truth of God is eternal, Halleluyah!” (Psalm 117) We often experience the difficulty for truth and kindness to coexist. A person fighting for truth is usually intolerant of others who disagree. However, we see that the Schools of Shamai and Hillel, although constantly debating “Truth,” were consistently able to coexist in “Kindness.”

This is one of the most precious aspects of the gift of Torah. It demands truth, and yet deals with us through Kindness. It asks that we fight for truth, even while insisting that we always act with Kindness.

Only the Torah can create this perfect balance between Chesed and Emet. (Rabbi Yerucham Levovitz – Da’at Torah)

We sing this Psalm as a celebration of the perfect balance between the Chesed and the Emet of Torah. We pray that our Torah study and observance reflect that magnificent balance in such a beautiful way that we inspire all people to sing of “His Kindness,” and, “His Truth.”

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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6
Jun

Festival Prayers: Birchat Kohanim I

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

“Joseph took the two of them, Ephraim with his right hand, to Israel’s left, and Menashe with his left, to Israel’s right, and he drew close to him. But Israel extended his right hand and laid it on Ephraim’s head though he was the younger and his left hand on Menashe’s head. He maneuvered Sikel his hands, for Menashe was the firstborn  (Genesis 48:13–14).”

Joseph presented his sons to his father in the proper order. Jacob realized that this was the order in which Joseph would place his sons before him. This is why he crossed his arms to place his right hand on the head of Ephraim and his left hand on the head of Menashe. He possessed sufficient Divine Inspiration to foresee that historically Ephraim would be of greater significance than his older brother.

According to Rabbeinu Chananel, Jacob did not actually cross his arms but he placed his hands one on top of the other. What the Rabbi meant was that Jacob did not rearrange the position of the boys but the position of his hands. This does not seem right. We do not need Rabbeinu Chananel to tell us this as the Torah had already made it clear that the boys remained in their respective positions but that Jacob crossed his hands!

The correct interpretation of Rabbeinu Chananel appears to be that the words, “he rearranged his hands,” mean that relative to Joseph he rearranged his hands. When the Torah said, “he placed his right hand on the head of Ephraim,” the meaning is that he rearranged the boys and placed them so that the younger was opposite his right hand. He also rearranged the position of the older son so that he stood opposite Jacob’s left hand. He did not rearrange his own hands at all. All he did was to rearrange the position of the boys.

This is the correct meaning of the words, “Sikel, he rearranged his hands,” he rearranged them differently from the way Joseph had arranged them.

The blessing took effect as a result of Jacob placing his hands firmly on the heads of the boys.

We find something similar in Numbers 27:23 where Moses placed his hands on Joshua and proceeded to bless him, making him his successor. The act of placing one’s hands on the person one blesses is designed to facilitate the transfer of the Holy Spirit possessed by the one conferring the blessing to the recipient of the blessing.

When the Sages ordained someone they also literally placed their hands on the head of the person they were ordaining. In the case of the Kohanim blessing the people this was physically impossible. Instead, the Kohen spreads his hands heavenwards in a gesture commanding God’s blessing on all those present.

This is the deeper meaning of the word, “Sikel,” being derived from the word, “Seichel,” or intelligence and wisdom. The 10 fingers are to be the instrument which draws down blessings from its celestial source. (Rabbeinu Bachya; Genesis 48:13)

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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6
Jun

Festival Prayers Mussaf: U’mipnei Chata’einu

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

“But because of our sins we have been exiled from our land and sent far from our soil. We cannot ascend to appear and to prostrate ourselves before You and to perform our obligations in the House of Your choice, in the great and holy House, upon which Your Name was proclaimed.”

Rabbi Isaac adduced to the verse: “My beloved is like a doe or a young hart, behold he stands behind our wall (Shir Hashirim 2:9).” Happy are Israel to whom it has been granted that this pledge should be with them from the Supreme King, for though they are in exile, the Holy One, Blessed is He, comes at the beginning of every month and on every Shabbat and festival to take note of them and to look at His pledge which is with them, His most precious possession.

He is like a king whose queen has offended him so that he has expelled her from the palace. What does she do? She takes the king’s son, his pride and his darling; and because the king is still fond of her he leaves him with her.

When the king yearns for the queen and her son, he climbs up roofs and goes down steps to peep at them through chinks in walls, and when he obtains a glimpse of them he weeps behind the wall and then departs.

So Israel, though they have gone forth from the King’s palace, have not lost that pledge, which the King has left with them because He still loves them, and when He yearns for them He goes up on roofs and steps to gain a sight of them through the cracks in the wall (symbolized by the way the Kohanim spread their fingers while blessing the people), as it says, “He looks in at the windows, He glances through the lattice,” in the synagogues and houses of study. Therefore Israel should rejoice on the day on which they know this, and say, “This is the day on which God has wrought; we will rejoice and be glad in it (Psalms 118:24 – Final Chapter of Hallel).” (Zohar III; Bechukotai 114b)

The Ramak (Ohr Yakar) expands on this and says that when God peeks at us and sees that although we rejoice we also weep, ““But because of our sins…” that we have lost the opportunity to ascend to His House, God rejoices that His Queen – the Shechinah – and Child – Israel –  miss Him so much, and He counts each of our tears as a stone to be used in rebuilding the Beit Hamikdash.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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6
Jun

Festival Prayers: Ya’aleh viYavo: Seven Levels

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

The seven levels listed in Ya’aleh viYavo correspond to the Seven Lower Sefirot. We should picture or imagine the prayer rising up through 7 levels: The prayer must first be empowered by our intention and awareness to rise to the heavens. This, first level demands an awareness of the power of our actions/words/thoughts on this world: We can speak and have the words “rise” to the point where they are not limited by this physical world. The Kabbalists describe the expansive, or Chesed, power, as the words rising to a level at which the individual letters dance and move, forming an infinite combinations of more words and ideas. The expansiveness adds enough beauty to the prayer that all the words we spoke and all the words formed by the dancing letters, form new decorations on the Crown of God.

A prayer that has achieved this expansiveness now has the ability to enter the highest Heichalot – Courtyards in Heaven, and actually stand before the Creator. This empowered prayer – filled with Gevurah – has entered a realm where it can have far greater influence on all of Creation.

If the words are filled with the beauty of a Soul reaching toward its Source, it has Tiferet. It can be “Seen”: It will catch the attention of God.

A prayer, so expansive, powerful and beautiful – Chesed, Gevurah, Tiferet – will attract God’s Ratzon – the very source of Creation: God willed to create the world. God’s “Ratzon” in eternal, for it is, inlike ours, ever-lasting and has reality, or Netzach.

This prayer, so developed and empowered by our awareness and will pushing it up, making it beautiful and connecting to the Source of All Existence, can achieve Intimacy of Attachment – Shema: As in Hashmi’I Li – Relate to me on the deepest level. It reflects the deepest glory of a Soul – its Hod.

Each soul has a specific mission to which it is Appointed – Pakaid. The Soul that can raise its prayer to such a level has connected with its essence – Yesod – at the highest level – and will receive the Pekida – the assistance to achieve its purpose.

When the Soul connects and fulfills its purpose it has incorporated all of its work and achievements – Malchut.

Zichronot is a reflection of how a specific thing matters. A Soul that has achieved all of the above with Ya’aleh V’Yavo, connects with all of Creation and adds meaning.

The meeting point of Creation is in Yerushalayim, where Heaven and Earth connect.

The Zichron of David is that Moshiach’s spiritual reality exists in the world. We request that the Spiritual reality be granted more life-force and become more of a reality for us.

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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6
Jun

Festival Prayers: Ata Vichartanu: Mussaf: The Profundities of Torah: Shavuot: The Mitzvot Transform Us

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

“And You sanctified us With Your Commandments.” “Hashem came forth from Sinai, shone forth to them from Seir, having appeared to them from Mount Paran” (Devarim 33:2)

The Midrash records that prior to Hashem offering the Torah to Bnei Yisroel, He made it available to the nations of the world. He offered it to the children of Esau (who lived in the land of Seir). When they discovered that it contained the prohibition of murder, they rejected the Torah on the grounds that, by nature, they were a violent people.

A similar result occurred when Hashem offered the Torah to the children of Yishmael (living in Paran). They rejected it, for it contained the prohibition of stealing.1

The following difficulties have to be dealt with:  Firstly, the two precepts that were rejected, namely “Do not murder” and “Do not steal”, are already included in the Seven Noachide Laws.2 Therefore, they are already bound to uphold these precepts. Secondly, the precepts as they appear in the Noachide Laws are more severe than they are in the Torah. The punishment for theft in the Torah is a payment of twice the principle.3 The Noachide Laws are capital offenses. To be found guilty by a Jewish court, two witnesses must be present at the scene of the crime, and a warning to the perpetrator had to have been issued. This is not required to convict according to the Noachide Laws. Why were they rejecting the Torah based upon precepts that would have been less restrictive than those that they were already obligated to keep?

The Rambam in his introduction to Pirkei Avos poses the following question: Which is a higher service of Hashem, one who by nature does not have the desire to violate the precepts, or one who struggles with the desire, finally conquering his evil inclination, and does the will of Hashem?4

The Rambam comes to the following conclusion: In the Torah we find two categories of Mitzvos (precepts). There are those that, by nature, we sense the obligation to uphold. We understand that violating them would be doing something intrinsically wrong  (i.e. murder, stealing, adultery).

The second category of precepts is those that we would have no inkling of them being prohibited, were it not for Hashem restricting us from doing them (i.e. cooking milk together with meat, shaatnez, etc.). Concerning those that we identify as being wrong, the Torah obligates us not to desire to do them. The soul that adheres to these precepts, but desires to do them is defective. Concerning those with which we do not associate an intrinsic wrong, the higher level of adherence is desiring to do them, but restraining only because Hashem commands us to do so.

The difference between the Seven Noachide Laws and the 613 Torah laws is not only quantitative, but qualitative as well. The Noachide Laws are essentially a directive to insure that society does not self-destruct. Noachide man is only commanded to act, or desist from acting in a certain manner. There is no obligation to inculcate the precept into his very being, no obligation regarding his thoughts or sensitivities. Torah law requires more than providing a functioning society; it requires that man be a reflection of his Maker. This is attained by incorporating the precepts into our very being. “Do not steal” is not merely do not commit the crime; rather our very being is required to be reviled by the act of stealing.

Those precepts which the nations of the world rejected are from the category that one is able to sense are wrong (just as are all seven of the Noachide Laws). However, those who are bound by the Noachide Laws are not commanded against desiring to do them. What Hashem offered them was an entirely new level of observance, a qualitative change of themselves as human beings. It is this which they rejected. It is a quantum leap from being commanded not to do something, to being commanded to revile the very act itself.

1.13:3  2.Gur Arye 13:26  3.158:1

Question of The Week

Rashi cites the interpretation of Rav Moshe Hadarshan that the eight strings of the tzitzis symbolize the eight days from when Bnei Yisroel left Mitzrayim until they sang the shira at the splitting of the Red Sea. However, in Parshas Beshalach, Rashi notes that Bnei Yisroel sang the shira on the seventh day after the Exodus. How do we reconcile this apparent contradiction?

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6
Jun

Festival Prayers: Ata Vichartanu Kavanot: Shavuot Mincha

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 tongues and You sanctified us with Your commandments. You drew us close, our King, to Your service and proclaimed Your great and Holy Name upon us.”

Kavanot Shavuot Mincha:

You have chosen us from all the peoples;

Based on (Abudirham), “I have loved you with an eternal love, therefore I have extended kindness to you (Jeremiah 31:2).” The Children of Israel first had to experience God’s Eternal Love through His constant care of them with the clouds, water and Manna and all the miracles, before He brought them to Sinai, so that they would experience Sinai, God’s choosing Israel to receive Torah as an expression of that love. (Ramchal; Nach)

Kavanah: “May we experience Your love for us each time we study Torah as we did at Sinai as an expression of Your eternal love for us.” [This also can be used as a Kavanah for the blessing of Ahavat Olam just before Shemah]

 

You loved us and found favor in us;

Based on (Abudirham), “For God favors, Rotzeh, His people; He adorns the humble with salvation (Psalms 149:4).” God’s favor can be found in the constant Salvation in creation, but is discovered only in those adorned with it; the humble. (Kozhnitzer Maggid; Toledot Yitzchak)

Kavanah: “We acknowledge that we live in a world of salvation (Matzmiach keren Yeshu’a) and we commit ourselves to living with humility so that the salavation may be seen adorning us.”

 

You exalted us above all the tongues,

Based on (Rabbeinu Yehudah ben Yakar), “You alone did I know from all the families of the earth; therefore I will hold you to account for all your iniquities (Amos 3:2).”

“Know” is an expression of love and connection. Because I love you so much, I will not directly punish you but will “hold you to account,” and have you repair your iniquities. (Panim Yafot; Mishpatim)

“Did I know,” is an expression of deep felt love, for all your actions influence the Highest Heavens for good and not yet good, something I did not grant the other families of the earth. (Yaker MiPaz; Shemot)

Kavanah: “We acknowledge Your great and passionate love for us that allows our actions to influence the Upper Worlds, and we commit to repair any damage caused by our errors.”

 

You sanctified us with Your commandments.

You drew us close, our King, to Your service

Based on (Rabbeinu Yehudah ben Yakar), “Praises to the one whom You choose and draw near to dwell in Your courts; may we be sated with the goodness of Your House, the holiest part of Your Sanctuary (Psalms 65:3).”

You chose Abraham, although You did not bring him close. You brought Jacob, Moshe, David, Yitro, and Rachav close, although you did not choose them. We praise God for the fact that He both chose us and brought us close to His service! (Tanchumah; Re’ei)

Kavanah: “We rejoice in both our being chosen and brought close to Your service as expressed by the Mitzvot You gave us to attach to You.”

 

Proclaimed Your great and Holy Name upon us.

Based on (Abudirham), “God, Master of Legions, will become exalted through judgment, and the Holy Power will be sanctified through justice – Tzeddaka (Isaiah 5:16).” Even as the Holy One, Blessed is He, acts in judgment against the nations, He is sanctified by the Tzeddaka He manifests to Israel, which in turn expresses that God chose us, loves us, desires us, exalts us, sanctifies us, brings us close to Him, and demonstrates that His Holy Name is called upon us. (Shem MiShmuel; Kedoshim 5676)

Kavanah: “Please act only through Your Attribute of Tzeddaka so that all will see Your Name called upon us as an expression of Your Choice, Love…..”

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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6
Jun

Festival Prayers: Ata Vichartanu Kavanot: Shavuot Shacharit

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 tongues and You sanctified us with Your commandments. You drew us close, our King, to Your service and proclaimed Your great and Holy Name upon us.”

Kavanot Shavuot Shacharit:

You have chosen us from all the peoples;

Based on (Ra’avan), “Only your forefathers did God cherish to love them, and He chose their offspring after them, you, from among all the peoples, as this day (Devarim 10:15).” When you look at the achievements of the Patriarchs and how they achieved becoming people who lived with constant awe of God, and realize how much more you must work to match their accomplishments; God will cherish you as He did them. He chose you because you can become as great as were they. (Rabbi Avraham Zerach Aryeh Yehudah of Berzon; Imrei Yehudah: and Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch if Liska; Ach Peri Tevuah)

Kavanah: “We believe that You chose us because we are capable of achieving as much as the Patriarchs. We will strive to live up to that choice.”

 

You loved us and found favor in us;

Based on (Abudirham), “”Go, eat your bread with joy and drink your wine with a glad heart, for the Lord has already approved your deeds – Ratza haElokim (Kohelet 9:7).” The Midrash Tehillim (85:1) explains that all our deeds merit Ratzon when we observe the laws of Charity and Shemmitah and Yovail. This teaches us that we can transform our property into a constant state of Ratzon by using all we have for good purposes to serve God. (Sefat Emet; Pesach 5660)

Kavanah: “We have expressed our experience of Your love for us by using all we own to serve You so that we may achieve a state of constant Ratzon

 

You exalted us above all the tongues

Based on (Abudirham), “Thus said God, Master of Legions: In those days it will happen that ten men, of all the different languages of the nations, will take hold, they will take hold of the corner of the garment of a Jewish man, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that the Lord is with you!’ (Zechariah 8:23).”

The garment described is a Tallit that when it wraps us, represents the Ohr Makif, the Divine Illumination that Envelops Us, and communicates with greater clarity than any language; it reflects a Universal Truth that can penetrate all hearts and minds, so that all will see that the Lord is with us. (Sefat Emet; Balak 5641)

Kavanah: “May we merit to reflect Your Illumination with such clarity to everyone in the world.” [This can also be used as a Kavanah for the Seventh Paragraph of Hallel: “All you nations; Praise God! Sing compliments, all you peoples! For His kindness overpowers us, and God’s Truth is forever. Hallelukah!”]

You sanctified us with Your commandments.

Based on (Rabbeinu Yehudah ben Yakar), “For I am God your Lord, you are to sanctify yourselves and you shall become holy (Vayikra 11:44).” The Midrash  asks, “With what shall we sanctify ourselves? With the Mitzvot. “All its holy ones were in Your hands (Devarim 33:3),” even what You did not instruct them, but they applied using their own thought and perception.

Kavanah: “We accept to approach each Mitzvah as an opportunity to achieve holiness so that we will be able to apply our sanctified thoughts to the Mitzvot and apply them everywhere in our lives.”

 

You drew us close, our King, to Your service

Based on (Rabbeinu Yehudah ben Yakar), “And because all of them were licentious people, Scripture describes them in detail in order to publicize their disgrace. However, as for the Children of Israel, the Holy One, Blessed is He, drew them close and called them, “Chevel nachalah,” Heritage, lot and portion, as it is stated, ‘For God’s portion is His people; Jacob, the lot of His heritage (Devarim 32:9),’ and it is written, ‘You shall be My special treasure of all the peoples (Shemot 19:5),” and it is written, ‘I had planted you from a choice vine, entirely of faithful seed (Jeremiah 2:21).” [Midrash Tanchumah, Vayeishev 1) When we maintain our sanctity we merit that God will bring us close to His service and treasure us as His heritage, lot and portion.

Kavanah: “May we take full advantage of “You sanctified us with Your commandments,” so that we will merit experiencing closeness to You as we Serve You.”

 

Proclaimed Your great and Holy Name upon us.

Based on (Abudirham), “There is none like You, O God! You are great and Your Name is great in might (Jeremiah 10:6).” “But you are in our midst, O God, and Your Name is proclaimed upon us; do not abandon us (Ibid 14:9).” Even in Your Might, the Divine Attribute of Judgment, we find Gadol, the Divine Attribute of Chesed, proven by the fact that Your Great Name is “proclaimed upon us,” empowering us to request, “Do not abandon us!” (Chozeh David: Jeremiah)

Kavanah: “We acknowledge that there is none like You, known by the Name of Might, that is called upon us as a Chesed, as we experienced at Sinai. We ask that You maintain that Name on us so that we may request that You never abandon us.”

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.


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6
Jun

Shavuot Hallel Paragraph Six

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer

“How can I repay God for all His kindness to me?” (Psalms 116:12) The Dalyot Yechezkail (Volume 2, Nitzutzei Ohr) compares us to a borrower who, unable to repay a loan, asks the lender for a loan to repay the first loan. Everything we have is from God, even our ability to thank Him. King David therefore focused on two steps: 1) “I will raise the cup of salvations and the Name of God, I will invoke.” A true servant of God will look for opportunities to declare God’s Name in gratitude before others. 2) “My vows to God I will pay.” The servant of God will constantly look for ways to “make vows,” meaning, to accept personal practices that result from the inspiration of his public declarations of gratitude.

We sing this Psalm on Shavuot as a public declaration of the infinite good we received in Torah, and as a commitment to find our own personal ways to express our appreciation of the Ultimate Good of Torah.

We also pray that we should always experience our Torah study as Infinite Good, and that we should be inspired to discover new ways to express our gratitude for that Good.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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