Blessings for Shabbos

Dear Friends,


The blessings that I would like to give each of us are based on the teachings from the previous letter: “The Universal Insight of Hannah.” In the previous letter, we learned that Hannah, the Prophetess, was the first person in history to address Hashem, the Compassionate and Life-Giving One, as “Hashem of the hosts of creation” (1 Samuel: 1:11). As we discussed, Hannah’s universal insight is especially appropriate on Shabbos, when we chant the following words on Friday night:


“Thus the heaven and earth and all their hosts were brought to their intended completion.” (Genesis 2:1)


We cited the commentary of the Midrash Rabbah which indicates that  the term “host” in the above verse is referring to an organized group within Hashem’s creation where each member of the group fulfills the Divine purpose. We also cited the following teaching of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch which gives us a deeper understanding of the above verse:


“Now, look at this entire host of creations – how, though greatly differing from each other in their properties and purpose, they have been linked in one great harmonious system; each one functioning in its particular place, in its time, and using the resources apportioned to it. None functions at cross-purposes to the others, but rather, each supporting the whole and the whole supporting each one.” (Letter Three)


In this letter, I will share with you an additional comment of Rabbi Hirsch:


“Thus one immense bond of love, of receiving and giving, unites all beings.” (Ibid)


I therefore want to offer the following blessings:


May Hashem help each of us to be fully aware of our particular place within the harmonious hosts of creation.   


May Hashem help each of us to be fully aware of our unique talents and resources, so that we can fulfill our unique role within the harmonious hosts of creation.  


May Hashem help each of us to fully experience the one immense bond of love that unites the harmonious hosts of creation.   


In the haftorah which we chant on this Shabbos, we find the following prophecy:


“For your Master is your Maker, Hashem of the hosts of creation is His Name; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, God of all the world will He be called.” (Isaiah 54:5)


This prophecy will be fulfilled at the dawn of the messianic age when “Torah will go forth from Zion and the Word of Hashem from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3). There will then be a universal pilgrimage to Jerusalem, “the City of Hashem of the hosts of creation” (Psalm 48:9).


May we all be reunited in Jerusalem!


Have a Good and Sweet Shabbos,

Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen

Hazon - Our Universal Vision