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Shabbat Parashat R'ei 5772

Ein Ayah: The Passage of Time

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Berachot 9:122)

Gemara:  Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: One who sees his friend after thirty days [of not seeing him] says: “Blessed is He …, who let us live (shehechiyanu), and sustained us, and enabled us to reach this time.” After twelve months, he says: “Blessed is He … who brings the dead back to life.”


Ein Ayah: The holidays are called zemanim (times) since they come from time to time, and their spiritual impact stems from the fact that they are separated from each other by ordinary days. This is because only when the passage of time dulls the impression of happiness and the sanctity of internal excitement from the memories of the holidays does the internal light of the soul become renewed upon the arrival of the holiday.

So too, the warm feelings of love for one’s friend, which are revealed when they meet each other, are embellished by the time of separation since the previous meeting. This separation is one of the ways for the love of a friendship to grow. However, when the separation is for too long, then the impact of the connection between the people starts to erode, not necessarily just on a temporary basis but even to the extent that only isolated points of memories will remain. If these points are deep enough, they can be rekindled into a new love in a way that is reminiscent of the resurrection of the dead, which is a new “reinvention.”

This is the difference between the reawakening of the love between friends after thirty days as opposed to after twelve months. Thirty days is the amount of time for changes in the emotions related to societal and familial life. We find this period of time as significant in regard to a woman’s cycle and, in societal matters, in that a regular loan is to be paid after thirty days. This amount of time brings a break that is reminiscent of a thin cloud covering of the sun, which passes on practically without an effect.

In contrast, twelve months creates a revolutionary change in a person’s life and his mindset. The previous impressions change totally, and there is a need for a special feature within creation that allows for renewal of that which has withered away. That is why it is appropriate to make the blessing for He who brings the dead back to life after twelve months. The relationship is the equivalent of having died, and we must view it as being recreated.

In general there is a concept of something that is in an incomplete form and will come to its ideal state at the end of some significant period of time. Human mortality and, in essence, mortality of all living things come from a certain weakness. We can expect that a day will come when there will no longer be a need for death. It is not enough, though, for death to stop. Rather, there is a need that there will be an opportunity of renewal of lost relationships so that longings will not continue on forever. Therefore, the glimmer of love in the depths of the heart will remain strong even when there is no outward sign of it. The fact that it will always be fit to be rekindled is a proof that it was always there in potential. Thus, in the future, at the end of days, those who were placed in indefinite slumber in the earth, will arise and restore inter-generational relationships.
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This edition of
Hemdat Yamim

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 to the memory of
R' Meir
 ben Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld



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 Ben Yehuda Leib Usdan a"h,

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