Archives for posts with tag: hashem

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For millennia Jews have dreamed about the Holy City of Jerusalem, known in Hebrew as Yerushalayim. There is an interesting phenomena which we see in Tanach regarding the spelling of Yerushalayim. We find that the Hebrew spelling is only spelled 5 times as we know it, ירושלים. The rest of the instances are spelled without the latter letter yud and reads ירושלם. 

The Midrash (Talpiot 191) explains that the yud represents the yud in the names of Hashem of שד’י, אדנ’י, הוי’ה & אהי’ה. This means to say that if you remove the yud from שדי you get שד – destruction. If you remove the yud from הוי’ה you get הוה- another form of destruction. If you remove the yud from אדנ’י you get אדן – that we will be subjected to servitude. If you remove the yud from אהי’ה you get אהה, which is loosely translated as anxiety. We see that the removal of the yud from any of the names of Hashem will cause the destruction of the Jewish people. The Midrash explains that since there was a Gezeira of Galus, the yud was removed from Yerushalayim and the Shechina lifted up from resting therein.

What does the yud of Yerushalayim have to do with Galus and what does all this have anything to do with the names of G-d?

In order to understand this, we need to go back a few millennia in history. It was the year 2015 circ. and Avraham Avinu had just arrived in Canaan after a long sojourn from Ur Kasdim. Upon arrival, he was immediately thrust into the midst of “The Battle of The Kings”. During the battle, Avraham’s nephew Lot was captured by King Kdorlaomer and Avraham set out to defeat Kdorlaomer and rescue Lot. After he successfully won the battle, the other Kings grew nervous of him and extended their hands in peace. One of the kings was Malki Zedek, who was the ruler of Shalem and was a Kohen of Hashem. Rashi tells us that Malki Tzedek was Shem, the son of Noach. Malki Tzedek proceeded to bless Avrohom and went on to bless Hashem.

The Gemara (Nedarim 32b) tells us that because Malki Tzedek prioritized Avraham over Hashem when giving his brachos by blessing Avraham first, he was punished and the Kehuna was taken from him.

The Midrash (Bereishis Rabba 56;10) tells us that Avraham called the city Yirah and Malki Zedek called it Shalem.Hashem combined the two names and called the city Yerushalayim. We see that in the name Malki Zedek used, Hashem added the letter yud from His own name.

In the period of time preceding the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash, the Jewish people lost their sense of direction, and idolatry to the deities of astrology was rampant. In other words, they put the tools of Hashem as a priority before serving Hashem Himself. Therefore, Hashem took out his anger on Yerushalayim. As we see in the Midrash (Eicha Rabba 4;14), that Hashem pours out his wrath on sticks and stones and not on Yisrael.

It was at this time that Hashem took out the latter yud from Yerushalayim, which is the letter from his name which was inserted in the name “שלם”. This was the name that Malki Tzedek gave to Jerusalem. Now, the name of the city reverted back to ירושלם in order to remind us that the city was destroyed due to the Malkizedek’esque sin of not getting our priorities with G-d straight. When we constantly refer to Jerusalem as ירושלם, we are constantly reminded of the need for this essential Tikkun.

Over the past few decades, we have seen a subtle yet radical change in the spelling of Jerusalem, with its full spelling now being used. The reason seems to be to allow for proper pronunciation. Based on what we learned, this does not seem to be the correct and proper practice. Perhaps in an effort to resolve this, the practice was started to use the acronym י-ם to spell ירושלם.

In whichever way that we refer to the holy city, may we always remember to keep our priorities straight and merit to see the full Tikkun and the complete rebuilding of Yerushalayim Ir Hakodesh.

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We all have our challenges through the twists and turns of life. Some are easy and some are harder. Sometimes we see bracha clearly in our lives and at times, it seems that the wells of bracha have dried up.

Chazal in Taanis 8b state that bracha does not rest upon things that have already been weighed, measured or counted, rather bracha can only be found on things hidden from sight. The Kedushas Levi asks, that we find by the Mishkan that everything had an exact accounting, yet there was still Bracha there?

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Machnisei rachamim – do we need Protekzia to reach god?

This Motzei Shabbos,we begin the recitation of Selichos, supplications begin for forgiveness in the advent of the Yomim Noraim. Amongst the many Selichos and piyutim included in the Selichos is the piyut of Machnisei Rachamim. Machnisei Rachamim is a piyut that is said at the end of Selichos, asking the Malachim to please bring our supplications and cries before Hashem.

מכניסי רחמים הכניסו רחמינו לפני בעל הרחמים משמיעי תפלה השמיעו תפלתנו לפני שומע תפלה משמיעי צעקה השמיעו צעקתנו לפני שומע צעקה מכניסי דמעה הכניסו דמעותינו לפני מלך מתרצה בדמעות השתדלו והרבו תחינה ובקשה לפני מלך רם ונש. הזכירו לפניו השמיעו לפניו תורה ומעשים טובים של שוכני עפר יזכור אהבתם ויחיה אותנו בטרם שלא תאבד שארית יעקב כי צאנו של רועה נאמן היה לחרפה. ישראל גוי אחד למשל ולשנינה מהר עננו ופדנו מגזרות קשות והושע ברחמיך הרבים משיח צדקך ועמך

This has not been without controversy and has caused much confusion as to whether or not we should indeed say this piyut.

I would like to explore the history of the controversy and attempt to clarify if it is correct to say this piyut.

Much of this is based on an article in Yeshurun by Rav Shlomo Sprecher Vol #3

As an aside, it is interesting, that there have been many piyutim that we skip in Selichos or which simply do not appear anymore, as the Gedolim felt they were improper. Machnisei Rachamim, of unknown origin, always managed to sneak back into the Machzor. This only deepens the curiosity to understand the nature of this piyut and the history of its controversy.

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The Torah in Parshas Shoftim recounts Moshe Rabbeinu instructing the Jewish people what they should be doing when they get across the border into Eretz Yisrael. Moshe told them that they should appoint Shoftim to judge the people properly as well as Shotrim to enforce the law. Additionally, the Jewish people are given a mitzvah to appoint a Melech.

Sandwiched between the Parsha of the Shofet and the Parsha of the Melech, the Torah describes, once again, the severity and prohibition of idolatry.

The Daas Sofrim explains the connection: Once the Shoftim can eradicate idolatry from Eretz Yisrael, which was populated by idol worshippers, they can then appoint a king who can build up his malchus on a pure slate.

Amongst the prohibitions mentioned regarding Avoda Zara, is that of planting an Asheira tree, which is a tree used for the purpose of Avoda Zara. Likewise, one may not use a tree as a source to construct the Mizbeach.

The Meshech Chochma explains the connections of these two concepts. He explains the idea of Korbanos. A Korban is not something that we are giving to Hashem to give him energy and power. Rather a Korban is intended to help perfect a person to be more complete and to grow to be a better more spiritually aligned individual.

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