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Shabbat Parashat Vayeira 5772

Ein Ayah: Pre-Natal Spiritual Characteristics

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Berachot 7:48)

Gemara:  How do we know that even fetuses in their mothers’ wombs sang songs of praise at Yam Suf (the splitting of the Red Sea)? It is as the pasuk says: “In congregations bless the Lord; [bless Hashem] from the makor (source; can mean, womb, as is hinted in this gemara) of Israel” (Tehillim 68:27).


Ein Ayah:  The love and fear of Hashem is connected to the heart of the People of Israel. They arise out of a few elements of sanctity, including the acceptance of the Torah and a life of following the inspiring Torah. A Torah education elevates the spirit of a pure feeling of love of the G-d of Israel. However, besides any practical cognitive education, the natural sanctity that each of us has is impactful. When one realizes that he is of Jewish stock, it is fitting that he should rejoice that he is fortunate to be part of a great nation with whom Hashem has a close relationship. There are no active prerequisites. Rather, the sanctity that enables us to elevate our spirit to call out in great song of praise to Hashem’s greatness exists naturally.

The feeling of the people of Israel’s that they have a propensity toward greatness from the makor from which they emanated became clear to them at Yam Suf. After all, at that point, they did not perform acts that portray greatness. As a matter of fact, they were somewhat rebellious at that point (see Tehillim 197:7). Despite that, they saw Hashem’s powerful hand in a vivid and wondrous manner. This had a physical impact, in that they were saved from their enemies and saw retribution taken against them. It also had a spiritual impact on them, in that their spirits were lifted to the point that they sang songs of sanctity. They joined as one unified congregation to follow a path of closeness to their Maker and Protector. This was not accomplished by means of a studied or practiced growth process but was a direct result of the reaction of the special natural soul that the people possessed.

The process of learning begins for a child with the things he sees and his emotional responses to that which goes on in the world around him. Fetuses within the womb do not have these external stimuli and possess only the hidden, inborn traits they received as being of a Jewish source. This innate element alone was enough for the fetuses at Yam Suf to sing songs of praise to Hashem. These wonderful spiritual powers, which, in an adult, can enable him to reach great heights as he is exposed to outside stimuli, already exists in a fetus to a smaller degree.

This great spiritual power exists in the whole community of adults, whether those who are full of Torah knowledge or those with little knowledge or interest in wisdom. How can two disparate types of people share emotions that bring them to praise Hashem? It must be based on an innate characteristic that uplifts all Jewish souls with an awareness of the spiritual power they have as a result of being from the makor of Israel, starting from the womb.

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This edition of
Hemdat Yamim

is dedicated
 to the memory of
R' Meir
 ben Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld



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Hemdat Yamim

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