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Shabbat Parashat Naso| 5770

Ein Ayah: Emotion Vs. Careful Torah Adherence

(condensed from Berachot 4:50)

Gemara: Rabbi Chiya bar Abba said: It is a mitzva to pray with just a bit of sunlight [i.e., Shacharit soon after sunrise and Mincha soon before sunset]. What pasuk [indicates this idea]? “They will fear You with the sun and before the moon for generations” (Tehillim 72:5). In Eretz Yisrael, they scolded harshly those who prayed [Mincha] with just a bit of sunlight. What is the reason? Because the time might be lost [i.e., they might be delayed at the last minute and miss the allotted time.]


Ein Ayah: The scholars of Eretz Yisrael said that despite the beauty of the pure emotions that come by joining the totality of existence at the appointed time [pre-sunset], the laws of the Torah are still more important. This is because that which one learns from the Torah is loftier than what one learns from the world of nature. The fear then is that by trying to pick the perfect time for the proper emotions, he will miss the halachic guidelines regarding the times of prayer. Whatever emotions and thoughts have been lost by praying at a safer time can be made up by the perfect Torah.

King David is the one who spoke about the advantages one can attain by contemplating the celestial bodies at the time of prayer in Tehillim 19: “The heavens tell the honor of Hashem…” Yet he continues the psalm with the statement that “Hashem’s Torah is complete,” which tells us that involvement in Torah is more uplifting than contemplating creation. 


Hashem’s Concern for Us When There Should Be Anger

(condensed from Berachot 4:52)


Gemara: Rabbi Yehoshua says: “One who goes to a dangerous place prays the following short prayer: “Hashem, save your nation, the remainder of Israel in all of their parashat ha’ibur.” What is parashat ha’ibur? Rav Chisda said: Even when You fill up with evra (anger) like a pregnant (ibur) woman, let all of their needs be before You. Some have the following version: Even when they are over (violate) the Torah, let their needs be before You.


Ein Ayah: A pregnant woman puts up with the difficulties of pregnancy relatively well because she knows that it is for a wonderful goal. Similarly, all of the difficulties that the Nation of Israel undergoes must be for a good purpose, as the pasuk (Yeshaya 66:8) says: “If a nation will be born in one time.” Despite the fact that the troubles are not actually bad, the needs of the time can be pressing and it is hard to bear too much while waiting for future good. Therefore, we ask Hashem to provide for the needs of the present as well. This refers to financial pressure that is severe enough to prompt individuals to enter danger in order to support themselves. We ask that Hashem suffice with the fear related to the danger and should not actually allow damage to come.

It is also necessary to justify the fact that people enter these dangerous situations. As the Chovot Halevavot says, when one travels on distant, dangerous journeys for a livelihood, he is displaying a lack of faith in Hashem, as if He will not provide without the need to risk one’s life. Despite this shortcoming, He should still protect the traveler, even though a sin (lack of complete faith) is involved.

There is another excuse. A person may have enough resources to survive without such trips if he had the attribute of sufficing with less. However, once he gets used to luxuries, it seems to him as if they are necessities, forcing him to take further steps. While enslaving oneself to such habits began as a sin, after time he is trapped in the habit and needs what he is used to. Therefore, we ask that all of their needs, including the originally contrived ones, be seen by Hashem as real at this point, thus reducing the sin.

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This week’s Hemdat Yamim is dedicated in loving 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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