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Ahavah Rabah 7: A Plea for Passion
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ותן בלבנו להבין ולהשכיל, לשמוע ללמוד וללמד Instill in our hearts to understand and to elucidate, to listen, to learn, and to teach… ***** Rav Chaim Friedlander zt”l (Rinas Chaim) and Rav Avigdor Miller zt”l (Tefilas Avigdor) explain that the words “ותן בלבנו–v’sein b’libeinu” apply to all the requests that follow.  We ask Hashem to […]
Ahavah Rabah 6: Torah – The Air We Breathe
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אבינו האב הרחמן המרחם, רחם עלינו Our Father, the merciful Father, Who acts mercifully, have mercy upon us ***** אין בכל התפלות תחנונים עזים כאלה, ממש כאיש המתחנן להציל את נפשו There are no supplications in all of the prayers that are more powerful than these, actually like a person who is pleading in order […]
Ahavah Rabah 5: Because Hashem Said So!
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ותלמדם חקי חיים, כן תחננו ותלמדנו And whom You taught the decrees of life, may You be equally gracious to us and teach us. ***** There are different types of mitzvos.  For many of them, we know only a part of their underlying reasons.  For many, we would understand that this is the “right thing […]
Ahavah Rabah 4: Bitachon – Strength and Eternity
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אבינו מלכנו, בעבור אבותינו שבטחו בך Our Father, our King, for the sake of our forefathers who trusted in You… When we said “Naaseh v’nishma” at Har Sinai, we were exhibiting our bitachon that whatever is contained in the Torah is for our benefit.  That is why we accepted the Torah before even knowing exactly […]
Ahavah Rabah 3: Selfless Ahavah
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אהבה רבה אהבתנו…חמלה גדולה ויתרה חמלת עלינו With an abundant love have You loved us…with exceedingly great compassion have You pitied us “Ahavah rabah ahavtanu” refers to the days of the Avos and the time of Y’tzias Mitzrayim. “Chemlah g’dolah viy’seirah” refers to the period after the Sin of the Eigel HaZahav. The Vilna Gaon […]
Ahavah Rabah 2: Bonding Powerfully Through Ahavah Rabah
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This brachah of Ahavah Rabah follows the brachah of Yotzeir Or.  The physical world that Hashem created is enjoyed by all human beings.  However, Torah is the most precious gift, which only we the Jewish Nation enjoy.  First, we must appreciate the goodness that Hashem created for all of mankind, and then we can properly […]
Ahavah Rabah 1: Ingredients of a Powerful Bakashah
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The Avudraham writes that the brachah of Ahavah Rabah / Ahavas Olam includes a number of items: Hashem loves us more than any nation. He gave us the Torah. We are to believe in yichud Hashem. He is Adon HaKol. Perhaps we can add the following: The brachah is loaded with bakashos for our own […]
Shemoneh Esrei 63 – And Finally… Peace!
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ברוך אתה ה’, המברך את עמו ישראל בשלום  –  Blessed are You, Hashem, Who blesses His people Israel with peace. We begin with a quote from Shemoneh Esrei 59: Peace allows all the other brachos in life to be enjoyed; without peace, all of the other brachos in life cannot be enjoyed. Peace has many dimensions: It […]
Shemoneh Esrei 62 – Blessed with the Radiance of Hashem
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ברכנו אבינו, כלנו כאחד באור פניך  –  Bless us, our Father, all of us as one, with the light of Your countenance We now continue with the meaning of the wording in Sim Shalom, focusing on how the wording fits within the overall goal of this brachah and, in fact, the entire tefilah, as expressed in Shemoneh Esrei […]
Shemoneh Esrei 61 – Sim Shalom: A Powerful Plea
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שים שלום טובה וברכה [חיים] חן וחסד…  –  Establish peace, goodness, blessing, [life], graciousness, kindness… We ended last week with the following quote from Rabbi Goldfinger: “In Sim Shalom, we proclaim that our primary goal in tefilah is not to receive, but to use the expression of our bakashos to draw Hashem closer to us as […]