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Simcha Groffman

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Kinder Torah
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Parashas Reeh

Not for Us

"Avi, do you remember the theme of the first two chapters of Hallel?"

"Yes, Abba. They recount the awesome open miracles of Yetzias Mitzrayim and Kriyas Yom Suf that our ancestors merited."

"Excellent, Avi. The third chapter now shifts to the geula osida (future redemption), may it come speedily in our days."


"Our ancestors had zechuyos for which they merited receiving open miracles. We have our own zechuyos, and we do indeed receive siyata di'shmaya (heavenly assistance) for them. However, they are of a different caliber than those of Nachshon, his tribe, and the tribe of Binyomin, who were mekadesh Shem Shomayim by jumping into the sea. This, along with the coffin of Yosef, brought about the tremendous miracle of the splitting of all of the waters in the world. Our lower madrayga (spiritual level) has caused Hashem to distance Himself. The strength, the rule, the plentitude, and the blessing that were once apparent for all to see, are now hidden within nature. We know that the geula osida will have greater miracles than Yetzias Mitzrayim. Since our current deeds are not on the level to accomplish this, we pray, 'Not for our sake, Hashem, not for our sake.'"ii Tehillim 115:1, as explained by Radak, Malbim, Maggid Tsedek, Meam Loez

"Why does Dovid HaMelech repeat the words twice?"

"That is an excellent question, Avi. The Radak relates that the repetition is to emphasize the point that the geula is not for our sake. Along the same lines, the Meam Loez explains that we really do not want it for ourselves, rather only for You. Why should Your Name be desecrated amongst the nations of the world? The idol worshippers see us suffering and mockingly ask, 'Where is their G-d now?iii Tehillim 155:2 Why is He not fighting their fight?iiii Metsudas Dovid Let Him rise up and help them!iiv Radak Where is His strength that He displayed at Yetzias Mitzrayim?'vv Etz Yosef Since it has already been publicized amongst that nations that He chose us to be His people, it will be a chilul Hashem (desecration of the Holy Name) if He does not save us.vvi Malbim Haman said, 'Their G-d has become old.'vvii Esther Rabba, chapter 3 Our redemption will reveal that this is all folly! You are emmes (truth), and You sit in heaven watching over Klal Yisrael!

"The Iyun Tefillah has a slightly different approach. 'Not for our sake' - not in our merit; 'not for our sake' - not in the merits of our Avos (Forefathers). Rather 'for the sake of Your kindness'1 which You bestow freely in every generation, and 'for the sake of Your truth'1, which is the bris (covenant) that you made with the Avos. Even if we do not benefit from their merits, Hashem is still bound to us by the bris that He made with them." "Dovid HaMelech answers their taunts. Although 'Our G-d is in Heaven'vviii Tehillim 155:3 and does not reveal Himself openly in this world, He does not sit there powerless. Quite the opposite! Our G-d in heaven rules over all the upper and lower worlds5; 'whatever He desires, He does!'9 The Almighty is just as strong now as He was then.3 His absolute rule is well revealed in His deeds.iix Iyun Tefillah

"The idols that the nations worship, on the other hand, are utterly powerless. They are 'the handiwork of man,'xx Tehillim 155:4 and it is an utter disgrace that people serve them.xxi Even Ezra They are nothing but mere gold and silver.3 They are referred to as 'atzabeyhem', which is from the word 'etzev' - sadness or grief. They bring sadness to those who trust in them.4 Even their worship is with sadness and groaning because they are calling to a god who is not able to answer.xxii Abarbanel, as cited in Siddur Iyun Tefillah Although they make them in the form of man, they are not able to put a neshama into them, and therefore their five senses do not function.4 Those who make them are like them. They have a mouth but do not use it to praise Hashem. Their eyes do not see the wonders of the Creator. Their ears do not hear the words of tochacha (chastisement) of the neviim. Their nose (spirit) does not discern the truth.xxiii Siddur Iyun Tefillah May those who made them, and those who trust in them, be cursed with powerlessness like them!"3


"Yisrael, on the other hand, trusts in Hashem! He is the One Who helps and guards us! Our trust comes through generations of experience receiving the Almighty's help and salvation.4 Our eyes always see that He is our 'help and shield'.xxiv Tehillim 155:9 And so, we continue to this very day trusting in Him to protect us from all the tsaros.xxv Maggid Tsedek Beis Aharon - the Kohanim and Leviim are close to the King of kings, for they stand before Him in avodah always. They see that their avodah helps and this increases their trust in Him. Those who fear Hashem - the chachomim, are the wise men who spend their time in the Beis HaMedrash toiling in Torah. They know Hashem from the wisdom that they acquire, and understand that there is no one else who is befitting their trust."4

"Abba, Hashem is so kind. He protects us all of the time. May He continue guarding us, and bring the geula osida speedily in our days!"


Kinderlach . . .

Hashem is going to redeem us. Why? For His sake. At the time of Yetzias Mitzrayim, He revealed His strength and let the entire world know that we are His chosen nation. Nowadays, His hand must be hidden within the framework of nature. Although the hidden miracles are apparent for all who look for them, the nations of the world do not see them. They tauntingly ask, "'Where is their G-d now? Why is He not fighting their fight? Let Him rise up and help them! Where is His strength that He displayed at Yetzias Mitzrayim?" This is a desecration of the Holy Name. We know that He is in Heaven, helping and guarding us all of the time. "O reveal Yourself, our Redeemer! Show the world that their idols are folly and utterly powerless! May those who worship them be cursed! We trust in You and only You. Bring the geula for Your sake, speedily and in our days, amen!"

i Tehillim 115:1, as explained by Radak, Malbim, Maggid Tsedek, Meam Loez
ii Tehillim 155:2
iii Metsudas Dovid
iv Radak
v Etz Yosef
vi Malbim
vii Esther Rabba, chapter 3
viii Tehillim 155:3
ix Iyun Tefillah
x Tehillim 155:4
xi Even Ezra
xii Abarbanel, as cited in Siddur Iyun Tefillah
xiii Siddur Iyun Tefillah
xiv Tehillim 155:9
xv Maggid Tsedek

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