Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Understanding Tefilah: Baruch She’amar – 3

Rav Dovid Lessin

1. “Baruch merachem al ha’aretz, baruch merachem al habriot.” “Blessed [is He] Who has mercy on the earth, Blessed [is He] Who has mercy on the creations.”  Rav Kook explains that Hashem shows compassion for the earth by giving it what it needs to support man, so that he can fulfill his mission here. In doing so, the earth fulfills its mission by being a base and supporter of life.  This also shows compassion for us, Hashem’s creations, in that we are provided with the resources we need to thrive.

The Toras HaMincha sees in these words the promise of hashgacha, that Hashem watches over this world with tremendous compassion, guiding all of it to its final destination, as the pasuk says, “From His dwelling place He oversees all inhabitants of the earth” (Tehillim 34:14).  This hovering attention extends to us as well, as Hashem shows consideration for each and every person, given their own life circumstances and present situation.

2. “Baruch meshalem sachar tov l’yerei’av.” “Blessed [is He] Who pays good rewards to those who hold Him in awe.”  The Mefarshim ask: Isn’t the term “good reward” redundant?  If Hashem gives a person reward, of course it’s good!  The answer is that there actually is reward that isn’t entirely good, which is the reward that one receives in this world.  Hashem does grant us reward in our lifetime, but there is often an aspect of it that isn’t complete, or that brings sadness or jealousy to another person that did not receive the same good fortune.  “Good reward” is reserved for the World to Come, where rewards are %100 good, without any taint of bad.  Those who live with Yirat Shamayim while in this world will receive an ample portion of such rewards in the next.

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