Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Tefilah: Hodu 7 [Rav Dovid Lessin]

לא הניח לאיש לעשקם ויוכח עליהם מלכים. אל תגעו במשיחי ובנביאי אל תרעו.

“He let no man oppress them, and He rebuked kings for their sake: ‘Do not touch my annointed ones, and do not harm my prophets.’”
The word “hini’ach,” or “let,” can also be translated as “to put down.”  The key to our divine protection is Hashem’s decision to pick up Avraham Avinu and the entire Jewish nation after him, and to never put us down.  Hashem carried us above kings such as Pharoah and Avimelech and warned them not to touch or harm us in any way.  This can be compared to the word we use to describe marriage in Judaism, “nisuin,” which literally means “carryings.”  One who marries is making the decision to carry the other person no matter how difficult it becomes and to never put them down.  Hashem made that commitment to us when we first became his anointed ones.  “M’shichai” in this verse can also be understood as “my designated ones.”  Avraham Avinu earned our chosenness as Hashem’s designated partners in this world, and as such we have merited to be held and carried in a way no other nation enjoys.

The famous metaphor tells of a boy being carried on his father’s shoulders, who eventually forgets that his father is holding him up.  The boy asks the person next to him, “Have you seen my father?”  The father realizes his son has lost an awareness of his fortunate situation, and decides to put the boy down so that he can experience the dangers of being small in such a big world.  Immediately the boy is afraid asks to be held once more, now understanding that his father had been protecting him all along.  We must not forget that we are always being carried, collectively and personally, and that is the source of our divine protection.

L’refuat Yeshaya ben Chava HaLevi

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