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Introduction to Birchos HaShachar – Part I
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B’ezras Hashem, the next series of segments will cover some of the Birchos HaShachar that we recite each morning.  As an introduction, we will review Shemoneh Esrei segments 47 and 48, which were an introduction to the brachah of Modim, and serve, as well, as an introduction to these Birchos HaShachar. Shemoneh Esrei 47 Appreciation: An Exercise in Growth  מודים אנחנו לך […]
Ezras Avoseinu #11: Davening as Our Avos Davened
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ועונה לעמו בעת שועם אליו He answers His people when they call Him for help. The following is quoted* from Rav Schwab on Prayer (pages 394-395): The word “שועם–shav’am,” from which we get the word ישועה, is used in the sense of “calling for help.” There is a statement in the Zohar HaKadosh (BaMidbar – […]
Ezras Avoseinu #10: In the Blink of an Eye
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משפיל גאים, ומגביה שפלים Who humbles the haughty and lifts the lowly   *****   Within these four words, HaRav Avigdor Miller zt”l (Tefilas Avigdor) sees a major lesson in emunah and bitachon.   It is difficult to imagine a more downtrodden and lowly people than B’nei Yisrael were in Mitzrayim.  We had been slaves […]
Ezras Avoseinu #9: Hashem Loves Us More and More
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על זאת שבחו אהובים ורוממו א-ל, ונתנו ידידים זמרות שירות ותשבחות, ברכות והודאות For this, the beloved praised and exalted Hashem, the dear ones offered hymns, songs, praises, blessings, and thanksgivings… What specifically are we praising Hashem for, and what connection is there between our being called “ahuvim–beloved” and the ensuing praise and thanks we […]
Ezras Avoseinu #8: Trust and Triumph
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וים סוף בקעת, וזדים טבעת, וידידים העברת Yam Suf You split, the wanton sinners You drowned, the dear ones You brought across… Why are we first mentioning the drowning of the Mitzriyim before the successful crossing of B’nei Yisrael? It seems out of chronological order. Rinas Chaim, quoting Siach Yitzchak, tells us that the first wave of Mitzriyim actually made it all […]
Ezras Avoseinu #7: A Nation of Firstborns
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כל בכוריהם הרגת All their firstborn You slew,… This week’s tefilah segment is based on Rav Schwab on Prayer as well as on his sefer Maayan Beis HaSho’eivah on Parshas Bo. The concept of “בכור–b’chor (firstborn)” began with Adam HaRishon.  Adam, who was the b’chor of the world, brought the first korban, which was an ox, which was a b’chor created during the Six Days of Creation (Gemara, Avodah […]
Ezras Avoseinu #6: Redeemed and Liberated
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ממצרים גאלתנו ה’ אלקינו, ומבית עבדים פדיתנו From Egypt You redeemed us, Hashem, our G-d, and from the house of slavery You liberated us. What is the difference between pidyon and g’ulah, and what is the difference between Hashem taking us out of the exile (galus) of Mitzrayim (“MiMitzrayim g’altanu”) and Hashem redeeming us from the house of […]
Ezras Avoseinu #5: My Master…Everyone’s Master
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אמת הוא אדון לעמך ומלך גבור לריב ריבם. אמת אתה הוא ראשון ואתה הוא אחרון, ומבלעדיך אין לנו מלך גואל ומושיע True – You are the Master for Your people and a mighty King to take up their grievance. True – You are the First and You are the Last, and other than You we […]
Ezras Avoseinu #4: “Your Torah and Your Messages”
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אשרי איש שישמע למצותיך, ותורתך ודברך ישים על לבו Fortunate is the person who accepts Your commandments, and takes to his heart Your teaching and Your word.   *****   HaRav Avigdor Miller zt”l points out that the words “ישים על לבו–yasim al libo” mean that it is not enough to learn Torah – even […]
Ezras Avoseinu #3: Absolute Care for Absolutely Everyone
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ברום עולם מושבך, ומשפטיך וצדקתך עד אפסי ארץ At the zenith of the universe is Your dwelling, and Your justice and Your righteousness extend to the ends of the earth. ***** Although Hashem’s “dwelling place” is in the heights of the universe, His judgments and His righteousness reach the ends of the world.  The thought […]