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Simcha Groffman

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Kinder Torah
For parents to share with children at the Shabbos Table

Parashas Ki Savo


"Avi, do you know which prayer we say after the bracha of "Gevuros" in the chazoras ha'shatz (the chazzan's repetition of the Amida)?"


"Correct Avi. Kedusha is a very special prayer. When we say the words of Kedusha with the proper kavannah (intention), we perform a mitzvah that is awesome beyond comprehension."

"Which mitzvah is that, Abba?"

"We sanctify Hashem's Holy Name along with the melachim (angels) in heaven."

"Who can conceive of such a thing?"

"Well stated, Avi. We cannot truly understand it. However, I will relate to you the explanations of our meforshim. Firstly, we take three steps forward and place our feet together, as we did at the beginning of the Amida. We lift our eyes upwards and raise our bodies upwards as we say the verse, 'Kodosh, kodosh, kodosh . . . (Holy, holy, holy)' (Yishayahu 6:3) along with the chazzan."ii Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 125:1,2). See also Rema and Mishna Breura for different minhagim.

"What should our kavannah be, Abba?"

"Firstly, Avi, we must understand the concept of holiness. A being that is holy is separate and exalted above the mundane. Holiness is a higher dimension, a loftier plane of existence. Therefore, the explanation of the three statements of holiness is stated in the Targum Yonason is as follows. 'He is holy in the most exalted heaven, the abode of His Presence; holy on earth, product of His strength; holy forever and ever.' Three facets of Hashem's holiness are expressed.

Additionally, we mention Hashem's holiness three times to show that it is incomprehensible.iii Avudarhom The Mishna Breura adds that a person should place extra concentration into sanctifying the Holy Name, and in the merit of this, Hashem will bestow heavenly kedusha upon him. He should intend to fulfill the mitzvah contained in the verse, 'I shall be sanctified among the Children of Israel' (Vayikra 22:32)."

"That certainly is an awesome mitzvah, Abba. You said that we sanctify Hashem's Name along with the melachim. What are they doing in heaven?"

"They are also sanctifying Hashem's Holy Name, amidst great noise and trembling.iiii Siddur Shaar HaRachamim p. 260 The Almighty Himself participates in this awesome spectacle, as stated in the Sefer Hecholos.iiv Cited in Mishna Breura Orach Chaim 125 'Tell my children what I am doing at the time that they are sanctifying (My Name) Their eyes are directed upwards, and their bodies lifted upwards. I have no pleasure in the world comparable to that time when their eyes are directed towards Mine, and Mine towards them. At that time, I clutch my Holy Throne at the place of the image of Yaakov, hug it, kiss it, recall their merits, and hasten the geula (redemption).'"

"How can a person utter these words without trepidation? He must prepare himself to sanctify Hashem's Name with purity and intense kavannah."

"The Yaaros Devashvv Cited in Anaf Yosef in Otzer HaTefillos p. 325 makes this very point, Avi. And so, when a person prepares himself for Kedusha he declares, 'Holy, holy, holy is Hashem, Master of Legions, the whole world is filled with His glory.'"

"That is fascinating, Abba. Hashem hides Himself so totally that no one can even begin to conceive of His Essence. However, His deeds, which are referred to as His glory in this world, are so numerous, open and visible, that they are overwhelming. The whole world is filled with His glory!"vvi Maggid Tsedek in Shaar HaRachamim p. 262

"Excellent, Avi. That brings us to the second verse of the Kedusha, 'Blessed is the glory of Hashem from His place' (Yechezkel 3:12)."

"Where is His place, Abba?"

"The Malbim explains that when the Beis HaMikdash was standing, blessing came to the world via that holy place. Now, after the destruction, no one knows the place of His glory. Therefore, we ask for blessing from Him, wherever His place is. And so Avi, we come to the third and final verse of the Kedusha, 'Hashem shall reign forever - your G-d, O Zion - from generation to generation, Halleluka!' (Tehillim 146:10). This is a prayer requesting that Hashem rule forever, and that He rebuild the Beis HaMikdash is Zion.vvii Eitz Yosef Now, Zion cries bitterly over the humiliation of Hashem's honor. However, there will come a day that Hashem will rule forever, restoring the kingdom to its owner, and His Name will be exalted and sanctified in the world."vviii Maggid Tsedek (in Shaar HaRachamim p. 264)

"May our tefillos help to bring that day very soon, Abba."

"Amen, Avi. From your lips to Hashem's ears."

Kinderlach . . .

Every day we have an opportunity to do something out of this world. We can sanctify Hashem's Holy Name along with the heavenly angels! This is such a lofty concept, that we cannot hope to understand it fully. However, we know that awesome things are happening in heaven at the time that we recite the Kedusha. Hashem clutches His Holy Throne at the place of the image of Yaakov, hugs it, kisses it, recalls Klal Yisrael's merits, and hastens the geula. We declare that the entire world is filled with His glory. We ask for blessing from Him, and that He restore His rule to Zion. On that day and forever, His Name will be exalted and sanctified in the world. May we all see these requests fulfilled immediately, amen!

Pray For Others

"And you will answer and you will say before Hashem your G-d, '[Lavan the] Aramean sought to destroy my father'" (Devarim 26:5). This is the beginning of the declaration made upon bringing the bikurim (first fruits) to the Beis HaMikdash (Holy Temple). Rav Zalman Sorotzkin zt"l points out that the Kohen (who accepts the fruit offering) does not speak on behalf of the one who brought the bikurim. Rather, each and every Jew is able to speak directly to the G-d of Heaven and Earth, without any intermediary. Hashem listens to his prayers.

Rav Sorotzkin continues to explain that with each additional prayer, Hashem brings Himself closer and closer to the worshipper. This concept is reflected in the prayer that we say three times, each time in a different order. "I look towards Your salvation, Hashem." "Towards You, Hashem, I look for Your salvation." "Hashem, I look forward to Your salvation." The first time we say Hashem's name at the end of the prayer, then in the middle of the prayer, and finally at the beginning. Each time, the Divine Presence draws Himself closer to us, and we pronounce His name sooner.

Kinderlach . . .

Hashem listens to you. Just think about that. The most powerful Being in the universe, the One Who created heaven and earth, listens to every word that you say to Him. What shall we say to Hashem during these days of Elul? Rav Noson Meir Wachtfogel, zt"l, suggests that we pray on behalf of other Jews. Do you know someone who is sick? Pray for his refuah shelayma (complete recovery). Pray for the poor man, the widow, and the orphan. All need Hashem's mercy. Praying for someone else accomplishes many things. It helps you love the other person, and feel for him. This increases unity among the Jewish People. These are all things that we are working on during the month of Elul. Pray for others. Strengthen the connection between Hashem and His people.

i Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 125:1,2). See also Rema and Mishna Breura for different minhagim.
ii Avudarhom
iii Siddur Shaar HaRachamim p. 260
iv Cited in Mishna Breura Orach Chaim 125
v Cited in Anaf Yosef in Otzer HaTefillos p. 325
vi Maggid Tsedek in Shaar HaRachamim p. 262
vii Eitz Yosef
viii Maggid Tsedek (in Shaar HaRachamim p. 264)

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