Thursday, January 1, 2015

Understanding Tefilah #1: Mizmor Shir Chanukat Habayit L'Dovid

Rav Lessin

The following series of posts are meant for the refuah shleima of a dear friend and talmid of our yeshiva, Rav Gavriel Pinchus ben Dvora Zlata.  May this series bring about his complete and speedy recovery.  The aim of these posts will be to better understand the tefilot we say everyday but perhaps do not fully understand or appreciate.  Line by line explanations will be offered, beginning with P'sukei D'Zimra.

Tehillim 30: Mizmor Shir Channukat HaBayit L’Dovid - 1

Two short points by way of introduction:

1. Dovid HaMelech wrote this mizmor for his son Shlomo to say at the inauguration of the Beit Hamikdash.  What does the content of this mizmor have to do with the Beit Hamikdash?  Rav Hirsch explains that Dovid experienced many instances of intimate closeness with Hashem in his life, and he came to understand the yesod of living in a physical world while being connected to a spiritual dimension.  This union of shamayim va’aretz is exactly what was embodied in the Beit Hamikdash, where a physical structure housed the greatest concentration of hashraas hashechina this world has ever known.  Yaakov Avinu understood this chibur as well, when he stated, “ein zeh ki im beit Elokim v’zeh shaar hashamayim”.  Dovid HaMelech’s life deeply embodied this understanding, which he expressed in this mizmor, as we will see.

2. Many mefarshim ask why the channukat habayit is attributed to Dovid, when he was not even the one who built it!  The answer lies in the yesod of hishtok’kut, meaning to yearn.  Dovid yearned so much for the Beit HaMikdash that it was as if it was already a reality in his own life.  It was yet to be built physically, but it existed as a tangible idea for Dovid.  He lived in the Beit Hamikdash in his own mind and heart. He literally wanted it so much he could “taste” it.  Since the physical structure that Shlomo built was only a manifestation of this understanding, the Beit Hamikdash is referred to in Dovid’s name.

No comments:

Post a Comment