Kinder Torah books are available for donation to your educational institution.
Simcha's Kinder Torah on the Chumash - 330 pages
Please contact the author.
Ashrei, Uva LiTzion
"Abba, we are saying 'Ashrei yoshvay vaysecha' again."
"Yes, Avi. We are striving to fulfill the words of the Gemoraii Brochos 4b which states that all who say 'Tehillah Li'Dovid' three times each day are assured of a place in Olam Habo. The Gemora gives two reasons. Firstly, the first letters of the verses in the mizmor follow the aleph-beis. Secondly, it contains the verse, 'You open Your hand, and satisfy the desire of every living thing.' The mystical sourcesiii Zohar Parashas Pinchas entreat us to focus intently on the provision of our food and the food of all Klal Yisrael when we say this verse."
"That is fascinating, Abba."
"The next mizmor Tehillim that we say is number twenty, 'May Hashem answer you on the day of distress.'"
"Why was it fixed at this point in the prayers, Abba?"
"Our Sagesiiii Medrash Tehillim, Yalkut Shemoni explain that there are eighteen mizmorim from the beginning of sefer Tehillim until this one (the first and second are counted as one). They are compared to the eighteen brachos of shmoneh esray that a man prays every day. Following the shmoneh esray, he asks the Almighty to accept his prayers ('tiskabel tseloschon'). So too, Dovid HaMelech, after he sang eighteen mizmorim of shiros and praise to Hashem asked, 'May Hashem answer you on the day of distress.' The Maggid Tsedek concludes that this mizmor is a Hashem's way of informing Dovid, with ruach hakodesh, that his tefillah was accepted. It also speaks about the end of the golus and therefore it precedes the prayer, 'Uva litzion goel' - 'The redeemer shall come to Zion.'
"Let me share with you three other interesting points, Avi. The Levush explains that there are 310 letters in this mizmor, corresponding to the 310 worlds that the tsaddik receives in olam habo. The Rokeach adds that there are nine things that prevent tefillos from being accepted. This corresponds to the Hebrew letter 'tes', therefore that letter does not appear in this mizmor. The first five verses are the chazzan entreating, 'May Hashem answer you on the day of distress…' The remainder is our rejoicing over the yeshua."
"Such deep things are hidden in every tefillah, Abba."
"Indeed, Avi. Let us continue to study them. The Gemoraiiv Sota 48a, 49a refers to the next section of tefillah as 'Kedusha DiSidra'. It relates that from the day the Beis HaMikdash was destroyed, there is no day that does not have a curse. Each day's curse is worse than the previous day's. In light of this, what keeps the world in existence? 'Kedusha DiSidra'. Rashi explains that after the destruction, the primary focus of holiness in the universe is Torah study. 'Kedusha DiSidra' is comprised of the verses containing the angel's sanctification of the Holy Name, and Rav Yonason ben Uziel's targum (interpretive translation) into Aramaic. Hence, it contains sanctification of the Holy Name, and talmud Torah. The latter part of the prayer also lauds the study and observance of the Torah. 'Kedusha DiSidra' thus gives all Klal Yisrael (both the learned and the unlearned) the opportunity to be involved in Torah study every day. Abudarham adds another reason for 'Kedusha DiSidra'. It assists those who came late to Shacharis, for it contains all of the elements of the morning prayers - asrei, kedusha, remembering Zion, and talmud Torah. There are eighteen pronouncements, corresponding to the eighteen blessings of shmoneh esray."
"What a wonderful tefillah Abba!"
"I agree, Avi. The first section is composed of two verses from Yishaya HaNovi,vv 59:20,21 detailing Hashem's covenant to bring the redeemer, and not to remove His Holy Spirit and His Torah from Klal Yisrael throughout the generations. Following that are the three verses of Kedusha along with the targum. The final section is composed of three paragraphs. The first one describes Hashem's steadfast patience, mercy, kindness, forgiveness, and righteousness. May He answer us on the day we call. The second paragraph speaks of the kindness He performed for us, separating us from those who stray, giving us the Torah and eternal life. May He help us to always do His will and serve Him wholeheartedly. The final paragraph is a request for the merit to live to see the Moshiach, so that we may sing to Hashem and thank Him. The prayer then extols the praises of the man who trusts in Hashem. He is blessed and will never be forsaken. Hashem desired for the sake of (Israel's) righteousness that the Torah be made great and glorious!"
Kinderlach . . .
After we finish the Amidah blessings, we say 'Ashrei', which gives us the opportunity to assure ourselves a place in Olam Habo, and provide sustenance in Olam Haze. We then request that the Almighty answer our prayers when we say, 'May Hashem answer you on the day of distress.' This was Hashem's way of informing Dovid, with ruach hakodesh, that his tefillah was accepted. The end speaks about the geula, which leads into the next prayer, 'Uva litzion goel', - 'Kedusha DiSidra'. This holy tefillah keeps the world in existence! It contains sanctification of the Holy Name, and Torah study. It is also includes a condensed form of the elements of the morning prayers. Finally, we laud Hashem's steadfast dedication to us, His chosen nation. We finish by beseeching Him to continue supporting us and allow us to see Moshiach, in order that we sing His Praises and thank Him. May the Torah be made great and glorious!
"You shall rejoice on your festival (Succos)" (Devarim 16:14). "You will be completely joyous" (Devarim 16:15). Rashi explains that Hashem assures us that we will be completely happy on Succos. In our prayers of the day, we refer to Succos as z'man simchaseinu (the time of our happiness). The Rambam writes (Hilchos Lulav 8:12,14) that we have a mitzvah to be happy on all of the holidays. However, on Succos there is an extra measure of happiness. We see over and over again that Succos is a time of great happiness. Why are we so happy on Succos?
Ever since Rosh Chodesh Elul, we have been intensely working on correcting our sins by doing teshuva (repentance). The culmination was Yom Kippur, a day of tearful fasting and prayer to Hashem to wipe our slates clean and forgive us of all of our sins. How we cried, how we pounded our hearts, how we regretted every wrong thing that we had ever done. And then . . . the shofar blast. We are forgiven. Hashem is so kind. He cleanses our souls and we can begin anew. What a great feeling.
The Sefer Lekach Tov, quotes several drashas from our Gedolim which center on the same point. Who is truly happy? One who is free of sin. The most intense happiness in the times of the Beis HaMikdash occurred during the Simchas Beis HaShoeva celebrations during the holiday of Succos. The Rabbis used to dance and sing, "Fortunate is the one who does not sin. And one who sins, let him return and be forgiven" (Sukkah 53a).
Kinderlach . . .
This is something that we can take with us throughout the year. Keep in mind that intense feeling of happiness that you had after Yom Kippur, knowing that your sins were forgiven. We all want to avoid having so many sins, so that our teshuva process will be easier. Keep one thing in mind, kinderlach. Yesterday was Yom Kippur. If we treat every day like the day after Yom Kippur, then we will surely be happier and less likely to sin.
Kinder Torah Copyright 2012 All rights reserved to the author Simcha Groffman
NEW!!! NEW!!! NEW!!! NEW!!!
Kinder Torah is now available in .PDF format
Kinder Torah is now available in Hebrew
4400 copies of Kinder Torah are distributed each week in
Arzei Habira, Ashdod, Avnei Cheifetz, Bayit Vegan, Beit E-l, Beit
Shemesh, Beit Yisrael, Betar, Bnei Brak, Detroit, Edmonton, Ezras
Torah, Gateshead, Geula, Gilo, Givat Shaul, Givat Zev, Har Nof, Haifa,
Hayishuv Einav, Katamon, Kiryat Sefer, the Kosel HaMaaravi, Los
Angeles, Maale Adumim, Maalot Dafna, Manchester, Mattersdorf,
Mattisyahu, Mea Shearim, Miami Beach, Monsey, Netanya, Neve Yaakov,
Passaic, Philadelphia, Pisgat Zev, Queens, Ramat Gan, Ramat Sharet,
Ramat Shlomo, Ramot, Rannana, Rechasim, Romema, Rechovot, San Simone,
Sanhedria HaMurchevet, Shaare Chesed, Shevi Shomron, Telz Stone,
Toronto, Unsdorf , Zichron Yaakov, and on the Internet at
To support Kinder Torah, please contact the author at
Partial sponsorships are also available.
Back to This Week's Parsha| Previous Issues
This article is provided as part of Shema Yisrael
Permission is granted to redistribute electronically or
provided that this notice is included intact.
For information on subscriptions, archives, and other Shema Yisrael
Classes, send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Shema Yisrael Torah Network