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Shabbat Parashat Behar Bechukotai | 5769

Ein Ayah: Movement and Stability; One Who Eats Before Prayer

(based on Ein Ayah, Berachot 1:153)


Gemara: One who prays should place his legs together, as the pasuk says: “Their legs were a straight leg” [a pasuk referring to angels that the prophet saw] (Yechezkel 1:7).


Ein Ayah: The legs serve two purposes: walking and standing. In order to walk, the legs are primarily separate from each other; during standing, the main usage of the legs is when they are close together.

In the course of one’s work on shleimut (spiritual completeness) there is “walking” (i.e., movement) and one can acquire attainments in the realm of the intellectual and that of personal attributes. There is also “standing” (i.e., spiritual consistency), by means of which one makes sure that the things that he acquired will remain strongly in his spirit, so that they will not be lost by some change in or challenge to his status. This dichotomy is hinted at by the pasuk: “Who will go up on the mountain of Hashem and who will stand in His holy place?” (Tehillim 24:3). One needs not only to reach the proper level but remain there.

The Torah is special in that it increases shleimut and brings higher levels, and, for this reason, it is called a path. “One who does not increase, will lose what he has” (Avot 1:13). In contrast, prayer etches into a person the levels that were attained so that they become permanent. In that way, a person begins to resemble angels, whose levels of shleimut are strong by virtue of their very existence. In fact, their main calling is to remain in their shleimut and not to increase upon it. Therefore, their legs relate to their power of unification, the straight leg. It also indicates that that their level is a natural one, not one that was chosen through free choice. This is like the natural movement that has no curving or distortion, as the Rambam discusses in Moreh Nevuchim. Included in this matter of stability is a person’s striving during prayer that his high levels should be acquired permanently and engrained.


                                (based on Ein Ayah, Berachot 1:155)

One Who Eats Before Prayer



Gemara: Whoever eats and drinks before he prays, about him the pasuk says; “You threw Me after your back (geivecha)” (Melachim I, 14:9). After he was haughty (ga’ava), he accepted the kingdom of Heaven.


Ein Ayah: The foundation of haughtiness is that one removes his heart from the realization that that which is good for him is not up to him. Rather, any possible shleimut comes from His Hand, which should cause a person not to be so proud about that which is not his own. Palpable feeling will not be able to imagine this, because the senses will not sense something that is outside the one who is feeling. Therefore, one who is drawn in by his senses will make a haughty connection and say that he saved himself.

In contrast the goal of prayer is to engrain in the heart the realization that all the good we have comes from Hashem. Therefore, one should involve himself in prayer, which brings him humility, before eating, which brings on blind haughtiness.




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This edition of Hemdat Yamim is dedicated to the memory of

Leiser Presser ben R'Aharon Yitzhak and Bracha

on the occasion of his yahrzeit, 24 Iyar,

and members of his family who perished in the shoah Al Kiddush Hashem.

As well as

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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