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Shabbat Parashat Korach| 5770

Ein Ayah: Rejoicing and Fear

(condensed from Berachot 5:7)

Gemara: What does it mean: “Rejoice in trembling” (Tehillim 2:11)? Rav Ada bar Matna said in the name of Rav: “In the place of rejoicing (gila) there should be trembling (re’ada).”  


Ein Ayah: The need for the rabbinic explanation of this pasuk is because one could understand that the main thing is to have trembling, just that rejoicing should be attached to it. The truth is, though, that real shleimut (completeness) must be attained with a happiness of the heart and a feeling of ease. In order that the happiness not bring one to frivolity, it is crucial to include koved rosh (seriousness), thus keeping the happiness focused on matters of true shleimut. That is why the trembling is to accompany the rejoicing, with the latter being the main point (in the place of gila there should be trembling, not “in the place of re’ada there should be rejoicing”).

It is also possible that gila represents a type of joy that also brings activity of the spirit, not just the happiness of a spirit that is at ease. It is only with the active happiness that one needs to attach trembling. That is because when the powers of the spirit are awoken by excitement, one can end up leaving the good path. The re’ada will protect him from letting his mind run wild. In contrast, when one is in a state of happiness with wisdom, goodness and attaining truth and sweet characteristics, this will give the person just a feeling of internal content, not an excitement of rejoicing called gila. This state does not present spiritual obstacles and brings a complete happiness of fear of Hashem, about which the pasuk says: “Fear of Hashem increases days and does not add sadness with it” (Mishlei 10:21).


How to End Things Off

(condensed from Berachot 5:10-11)


Gemara: One does not start to pray with … laughter, common talking, light headedness, or idle things, but with happiness to do a mitzva. Similarly one should not take leave of his friend with common talking, laughter, lightheadedness, or idle things, but rather with a halachic discussion. This is similar to what the early prophets did, as they completed their words with praise and prophecy of consolation. 


Ein Ayah: Four elements of thought have to be present to have a complete prayer. Each one is negated by the matters listed to avoid. 1) Fear of Hashem - this is negated by laughter. 2) One needs to see his soul’s shleimut from internal contentment - talking focuses on the need for external contentment involving others. 3) One has to decide that his behavior should be according to what he decides to be the best thing - light headedness is when one is willing to act differently than he knows he should; 4) One should realize the importance of speech - thus, he should avoid idle things.

The same things should be avoided when taking leave of a friend. While a person is involved during much of the day with things that take away from his spiritual potential, during prayer his highest emotions come together. Therefore, preparations should be made to facilitate it. Similarly when one is involved in a relationship, much of the interaction is not on the matters that are the most important ones in the relationship. However, when he takes leave of his friend, it is the right time to focus on the essence of their connection. The most important thing that a friendship is based on is halacha, which straightens one’s tendencies and helps complete him. Laughter, common talking, lightheadedness, and idle talk all have a place in many friendships, but one should realize that they are their lower part, not the friendships’ basis.

Regarding the prophets as well, the end of their prophecy contains their essence and goal.

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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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