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Shabbat Parashat Yitro 5774

Ein Ayah: Without Rest

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Berachot 9:360)

Gemara: Rav Chiya bar Ashi said in the name of Rav: Torah scholars have no rest, not in this world and not in the World to Come, as the pasuk says: “They will go from strength to strength; they will be seen by Hashem in Zion” (Tehillim 84:8).

 

Ein Ayah: Satisfaction relates to every matter according to its characteristics and occurs when it is completed according to the loftiest goals that are feasible in its realm. Among the powers that exist in the world are powers that act and those that are acted upon. Clearly, active powers are complete when nothing prevents them from performing that which they are meant to perform. Ceasing to work is against their nature and detracts from their enjoyment.

Regarding things that are acted upon, they are most fulfilled when they receive a positive act performed by others and when they are able to rest. The situation in which they are not provided for and have to act themselves is one that detracts from their happiness.

The same is true of spirits. There are some spirits that are naturally passive and prefer to be managed by the influence of others, and their lack of action is a sign of their innate nature. Therefore when they reach their point of completeness, it is fitting for them to receive rest, so that they do not need to leave their preferred state and have to act.

Torah scholars are active by nature, and they not only influence their own lives but naturally act to influence others. This activeness is a characteristic of their soul. Therefore, their enjoyment and fulfillment comes by continually remaining active, and this remains the same no matter at what stage of life. In that way, they are to go from strength to strength, precluding the appropriateness of rest, even in the world to come.

 

Siyum

 

It is with great joy that we reach the completion of Massechet Berachot in Ein Ayah.

We complete it with Rav Kook’s words of thanks and prayer that grace the end of the massechet, although translation does not do justice to this biblically-based poetry.

 

This is my prayer to you, Hashem, at a time of good will: He who gives from His mouth wisdom, knowledge, and insight, do not withhold from my mouth a matter of utmost truth, and save me from every obstacle and mistake in matters of halacha and aggada. May my tongue speak Your sayings as You teach me Your statutes. I am Yours; save me, for I have sought Your orders. Provide me with the merit to bring that which my heart desires from the potential to the actual, on behalf of the honor of Your holy name. Grant me a spirit of wise counsel, bravery, knowledge, and fear of Hashem. Allow me to merit seeing the happiness that will come to Your nation, to glory with Your inheritance, when You will bring salvation from Zion to Your pride, Israel. I seal my words with thanksgiving, as the pasuk says: “Hashem, You are my G-d, I will exalt You, I will thank Your name for You have done wonders; Your plans from a distance You fulfilled faithfully” (Yeshaya 25:1). I will pray about the future: “And even until old age, Hashem do not leave me until I will tell of Your strength to the generation and Your power to all those who will come” (Tehillim 71:18).

Ein Ayah Siyum Contest

On the occasion of the completion of our presentation of a free translation of Rav Kook’s Ein Ayah on Berachot, we want to share our simcha and our Torah with our readers.

We invite you to send in some of your thoughts about Ein Ayah on Berachot, as has been presented in this forum. The style of your submission is totally up to you: highlighting of certain ideas, questions and answers on one or more pieces, etc.

The author of the submission that we find to be most significant (totally subjectively) will have the opportunity to receive any three seforim that Eretz Hemdah publishes for free (including shipping). (We would ask that we have the right to share the submission with the other readers.) The authors of the second and third “rated” submissions will receive one sefer.

We welcome your participation as your way of expressing your enthusiasm about this ongoing project of making Rav Kook’s writing available to the English-speaking community and in appreciation of the work that goes into it.

 

                                                           Hemdat Yamim staff

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