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Shabbat Parashat Vayishlach | 5769

The Power of Prayer , The Proper Way to Rebuke

Ein Ayah

(from Ein Ayah, Berachot 68)

Gemara: Rav Elazar said in the name of Rabbi Chanina: the blessing of a simple person should never be light in your eyes, for two great leaders, David and Daniel, were blessed by simple people and their blessings were fulfilled.


Ein Ayah:  The Divine manner of leading the world places all existing matters, both in the physical and spiritual realms, within a system of wonderful wisdom, in a way that their goals will be met. The main goal is that spiritual potential, which is the desired fruit of all existence, should be strengthened. Indeed, Hashem established within the existence of the world a rule that tefilla (prayer) should be effective in obtaining results. Hashem arranged matters in this way in order to attain the ethical gains that can emanate from tefilla, to elevate the soul and to stay away from that which is evil. [See Ein Ayah, Berachot 1:56, which we discussed in Hemdat Yamim of Toldot. There Rav Kook writes that when tefilla is effective, people recognize Hashem’s impact on the world, fear Him, and follow His commandments.] Hashem also established a situation in the world whereby a blessing is an effective device to bring good to another. The purpose of this matter is that it encourages people to live in peace and love one with another, so that they will be worthy of their counterpart’s blessing.

That is why the blessing of a simple person should never be light in one’s eyes. After all, the blessing’s effectiveness does not depend only on the individual value of the one who offers the blessing. Rather, it is a general rule of nature from the perspective of the completeness of the world as a whole, in regard to its moral standing. However, it is understandable that once necessity brought this rule of nature into existence, there still is an advantage to the blessing of one person in relation to another, and thus one cannot compare the blessing of a simple person to that of a great and righteous person. [Rav Kook apparently means that one will feel more connected to Hashem if the blessing of a holy person is more effective than the blessing of a simple one.] 


The Proper Way to Rebuke

(from Ein Ayah, Berachot 70)


Gemara: Rabbi Yochanan said in the name of Rabbi Yossi: one “lashing in the heart” of a person is more effective than several physical lashings, as the pasuk says: “She will run after her lovers… and she will say, ‘I will go and return to my first husband, for it was better for me then than now’” (Hoshea 2:9).


Ein Ayah: Here the Rabbis taught us the pleasantness of the approach of education, for not through beatings is a person educated but rather in the manner of pleasantness. The true fear that one is supposed to have [for Hashem] is the awe of His greatness that comes along with reliable love.

Until the most recent times, the scholars of the field of education did not arrive at this realization, and their education employed the “stick of those who damage” (see Zecharia 11:7). Only in these times, did great amounts of experience prove to them that they should understand that which our Rabbis taught us in their holy spirit.



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This edition of Hemdat Yamim is dedicated to the memory of

R ' Meir ben Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld


Hemdat Yamim is endowed by Les & Ethel Sutker of Chicago, Illinois in loving memory of
Max and Mary Sutker

and Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l.

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