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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 […]
Ezras Avoseinu #2: Striving to Make Hashem Our “Ozer”
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עזרת אבותינו אתה הוא מעולם, מגן ומושיע לבניהם אחריהם בכל דור ודור The Helper of our Forefathers are You alone, forever, Shield and Savior for their children after them in every generation. ***** For our Forefathers, known as our “Avos” (Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov), Hashem was an “Ozer” (from the word “ezras”).  For their descendants […]
Ezras Avoseinu #1: Crossing the Sea into Olam HaBa
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ברוך…גאל ישראל …Who redeemed Yisrael.   *****   Rabbi Yochanan says (B’rachos 4b) that one who juxtaposes the brachah of Ga’al Yisrael to Shemoneh Esrei is a “ben olam ha’ba.”  The simple understanding is that he merits olam ha’ba.  Many years ago, I saw a commentary that explained that a “ben olam ha’ba” means that […]
Ahavah Rabah 20: Understanding Our Role As a Tzelem Elokim
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הבוחר בעמו ישראל באהבה …Who chooses his people Israel with love. ***** We mentioned last week that the conclusion of this brachah is telling us that Hashem is choosing us now – in the present tense – with love.  When were we actually chosen? The Gemara (P’sachim 118a) states that from the creation of the world, […]
Ahavah Rabah 19: Loving All of His Children…All of the Time
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Before we proceed to the conclusion of our brachah, we would like to share one powerful thought from the Vilna Gaon.  He quoted the Gemara in Chulin 91b, which states that klal Yisrael is more beloved to Hashem than the mal’achei ha’shareis, the heavenly angels.  The Gaon states that when we say “v’keiravtanu l’Shimcha ha’gadol,” […]