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Simcha Groffman

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Parashas Tzav


"Abba, boruch Hashem we have finished the four brochos of Bircas HaMazone. What comes next?"

"Excellent question, Avi. After the four blessings, we begin addressing our Creator as 'HaRachaman' - The Merciful One - and making various requests. Abudarham allows every individual to make his own personal request in his own words. We have a fixed liturgy of nine different 'HaRachman's'. The Kol Bo dates the source of these requests back to the times of the Gaonim. The Pas Lechem relates that in order to receive the requested brochos, the 'HaRachaman's' should be said with complete kavannah (intention), as is fitting of a tefillah that comes from the heart and soul."

"I am ready to give it my best, Abba. Can we go through the 'HaRachman's'?"

"My pleasure, Avi. The first three praise Hashem and His Greatness. 'The Merciful One will reign over us forever and ever. The Merciful One will be blessed in heaven and earth.' We hope that all will recognize Him as the source of all blessing. 'The Merciful One will be praised for all generations. He will be glorified through us forever and to eternity, and He will be honored through us for time everlasting.'"

"We have quite a job, Abba! We must convey to the world, by way of our exemplary behavior, Hashem's glory and honor."

"That is quite an astute observation, Avi. This is indeed our purpose in this world, and therefore we are justified in asking the Almighty for the means to carry out our holy task. We express them in the following series of requests. 'May the Merciful One sustain us in an honorable way. The Merciful One will break the yoke (of exile) from our necks and lead us upright to our land.' This idea is articulated in the verse, 'I broke the bars of your yoke, and I led you upright.'ii Vayikra 26:13 'May the Merciful One send us abundant blessing to this house, and upon this table at which we have eaten. The Merciful One will send us Eliyahu HaNovi, who is remembered for good, who will proclaim for us good tidings, salvations, and consolations.'"

"What are the good tidings, Abba?"

"The coming of Moshiach, the end of the golus (exile), and the comfort of the Jewish people from all of the anguish that has come upon them. 'Shir Ha'Maalos' speaks about this comfort. 'When Hashem returns the children of Zion from exile they will say that all the troubles that they experienced were like a dream (and not real troubles).'iii Tehillim 126:1, elucidated in Blessing of Blessings

"We now ask for a blessing for the ba'al ha'bayis (master of the house), for his family members, and for all who have joined together at the meal. 'May the Merciful One bless them all, just as He blessed our forefathers Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov "in everything"iiii Bereshis 24:1 "from everything"iiv Bereshis 27:33 "with everything"vv Bereshis 33:11, so too may He bless all of us together with a perfect blessing and let us say Amen.'"


"We have not yet finished our requests on behalf of the ba'al ha'bayis, Avi. We ask that the angels invoke upon him, as well as all of us, zechus (merit) in heaven that will be a safeguard of peace. May we also receive an abundance of bracha from Hashem, and kindness from the G-d of our deliverance. May we find favor and understanding in the eyes of G-d and man."

"We have the privilege of asking for so much, Abba! May it all be used for the glory and honor of His Holy Name!"

"Indeed, Avi. This brings us to the final HaRachaman, which is an impassioned plea for the ultimate redemption. 'May the Merciful One make us worthy of the days of Moshiach and the life of the World to Come. He makes great salvations for His king, and shows kindness to His anointed; (may He) do so for Dovid and his descendants forever. He Who makes peace in Heaven, may He make peace for us and for all Israel and say Amen.'"


"The final paragraph of Bircas HaMazone is a collection of verses assuring us that all who fear Hashem will never lack anything. All of their needs will be provided for. 'Fear Hashem, His holy ones (who suffice with little worldly goods) for those who fear Him never lack anything. Young lions (who have natural strength) become weak and hungry, but those who seek Hashem will not be deprived of any good thing.vvi Tehillim 34:10-11, elucidated in Blessing of Blessings Give thanks to Hashem for He is good; His kindness endures forever.vvii Tehillim 136:1 You open Your hand, and satisfy the desire of every living being.vviii Tehillim 145:16 Blessed is the man who trusts in Hashem, then Hashem will be his security.iix Yirmiyahu 17:7 I was young and I have grown old, yet I have never seen a tsaddik forsaken, with his children begging for bread.xx Tehillim 37:25 Hashem will give might to His people, Hashem will bless His people with peace.'"xxi Tehillim 29:11

Kinderlach . . .

Hashem is full of mercy. He is compassionate, sympathetic, understanding, and eternally kind to us. Our mission is to reveal His Glory to the world. How? By example. We must emulate His exemplary behavior, so that all of creation can see that He is the King of kings. We have the privilege of asking Him for the means to carry out our holy task. To this end, we make several requests at the end of Bircas HaMazone, most of which begin by addressing Him as HaRachaman. By realizing that He is the One Who mercifully provides all of our needs, we merit His support, redemption, consolation, peace and security. Kinderlach, put great kavannah (intention) into these requests, and may the Merciful One fulfill each and every one of them.

i Vayikra 26:13
ii Tehillim 126:1, elucidated in Blessing of Blessings
iii Bereshis 24:1
iv Bereshis 27:33
v Bereshis 33:11
vi Tehillim 34:10-11, elucidated in Blessing of Blessings
vii Tehillim 136:1
viii Tehillim 145:16
ix Yirmiyahu 17:7
x Tehillim 37:25
xi Tehillim 29:11

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