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Shabbat Parashat Shoftim 5772

Ein Ayah: Missing Something Because It Will Return

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Berachot 9:123)

Gemara:  Rav said: The deceased is not forgotten from the heart until twelve months go by, as the pasuk says: “I was forgotten from the heart like a dead person; I was like a lost utensil” (Tehillim 31:13). (Rashi- the halacha is that we do not assume that one gives up hope to recover his lost object until twelve months go by).


Ein Ayah: Anything that is, in general, entrenched in the heart must have a foundation in the world, from the perspective of the past, present, and future. If death represented irretrievable damage, then it would not have been human nature for the wound in the heart of the surviving loved ones to be so deep. If one has a cherished utensil that has been lost, he does not give up on it right away because that would make it less likely for him to make the efforts that could bring to his finding it. Similarly, if there were no way of recovering the deceased, the strong memory would not linger on as long as it does. Thus the twelve months it takes for the deceased to be forgotten from the heart is a sign that there is a way to get back the deceased.

However, the way for the deceased to return is distant, and we have little experience with it. It requires Hashem to “open up the graves” (see Yechezkel 37:13) so that resurrection can occur. Because this eventuality exists, the loss does not have permanence in the heart but resembles, in a couple of ways, a utensil that one still hopes to retrieve. The object is lost to its owner but remains in the world. Secondly, even after a person does give up hope of finding it, it is still possible to find it. Nothing fundamental changes after twelve months, as we know that, generations later, treasures are dug up from different eras. So too, the state of one’s mind that continues to long for the lost loved one proves that there is hope of fulfillment of the pasuk: “Your dead will live, your corpse will arise” (Yeshaya 26:19).


Ein Ayah: The Appearance of Lack of Order

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Berachot 9:125)


Gemara: On thunder, lightning, and strong winds, one makes the blessing: “Blessed … whose power fills the world.”


Ein Ayah: When a person looks at the existence of the world, he will find it to be good and proper, with everything being in the right place. The beauty of order demonstrates that Hashem put things in order with His wisdom, goodness, and grandeur. The sun, when it appears on the horizon in all its splendor, the stars as they shine in their constellations, and the moon, which proceeds so majestically, all make life more pleasant for those who notice them.

However, sometimes natural sights and sounds (e.g., thunder, lightning, and great winds) disturb the soul and give a feeling of dread and lack of order. A person should realize that he sees only a small portion of the creation. All of the wonderful, orderly things that he does see, full of the light of life that bring him enjoyment, should suffice for him. The sights and sounds that are upsetting are related to the fact that he is able to perceive only a small amount in comparison to the great extent of Hashem’s presence in the world. He should realize upon experiencing these phenomena and express within the blessing that in His world, that which looks out of place and upsetting is actually part of a wonderful picture, deserving of our highest regard.

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Hemdat Yamim

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