Lev Sameiach: 19, Not 18
The 1st of Elul is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Chanoch Henach Dov Maierof Alesk, the Lev Sameyach (1800-1884). Rav Chanoch married Frieda Rokeach, daughter of the first Belzer Rebbe, Rav Shalom. Following
the death of Rav Berish Flam, Rav Chanoch was elected Rebbe of Alesk.
The Amidah orginally had 18 blessings; three at the beginning, three at the conclusion, and twelve in the middle. The twelve served to restore Malchut through nine steps to Keter, with a renewal of Keter, Chochmah and Binah.
However, the Sefirot were damaged further by Heretics and the extra blessing of “V’Lamalshinim was added to combat their damage that was so devastating that a tenth blessing was necessary to access the basic Malchut before beginning the process of repair. – Lev Sameiach- Bereishit
I find this idea almost earth-shattering: We understand that an event such as the destruction of the Temple has such serious Spiritual implications that it impacts the Celestial Worlds, even the Sefirot. The Lev Sameach is teaching us that it is just as possible for a group of people to affect the same destructive influence by introducing new ideas that distance us from our Creator!
The upside is that if we can have such a powerful detrimental effect on the Heavens through misguided thinking, we can have an equally, if not more powerful, effect through proper thinking and action.
Would our beliefs and actions change if we appreciated their potential impact on the Celestial Worlds? Perhaps we can transform our prayers by pausing before we begin to reflect on the possibility that they can change both the Upper and Lower Worlds.