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Shabbat Mevarchim Rosh Chodesh Av: Drops of Light: Four

“He, Who performed miracles for our forefathers and redeemed them from slavery to freedom – May He redeem us soon and gather in our dispersed from the four corners of the earth; all Israel being friends.”


The Second Temple was destroyed because of the sin of Baseless Hatred. This prayer is recited with the intention to repair that sin by connecting to all the Jews dispersed over the globe, and declaring, “All Israel being friends.” Yet another brightly burning Drop of Light.

Again: Recite this paragraph as one living between the flames consuming Jerusalem. Imagine watching your friends and relatives herded into slavery as you recite: “And redeemed them from slavery to freedom.” Praying for their redemption even as they sit in chains on the filthy streets of destroyed Jerusalem, before they begin their long walk to Babylon, or to the Roman ships that will transport them all over the globe: Who are the people who can pray like this even at such a moment?

Only those who experience the Drops of Light illuminating their souls.

Even as God’s city is destroyed and His Beit Hamikdash in flames, we acknowledge His great power!

The inclusion of ” Who performed miracles for our forefathers,” is a reflection of the greatness of human beings, and is the reason the leaders of those who built the Second Beit Hamikdash were called the Men of the Great Assembly.  They were “great” for including the phrase, “haKeil, haGadol, haGibbor, vi’haNorah,” in our tefillah.

The Gemara in Yoma 69b explains; “Why were they called Men of the Great Assembly?  Because they restored the crown of the divine attributes to its completeness.  Moshe had said, “God, great, powerful and awesome.”

Then Yirmeyahu came and said “Nations are destroying His Temple.  Where are his “awesome deeds?  So he omitted the attribute “Awesome.”

Daniel came and said, “Nations are enslaving His children.  Where are His mighty deeds?  So he omitted the attribute “Mighty.”

But the Men of the Great Assembly came and said, “On the contrary!  Therein lie His Mighty deeds that he suppresses His wrath, that He extends long patience to the wicked.  Therein lies His awesomeness:  For but for the fear of Him, how could one single nation persist among the many nations!”  When the Anshei Knesses HaGedolah added this to our Tefillah they were restoring the glory of Hashem.

Is the same not equally true of people reciting, “Who performed miracles for our forefathers,” and acknowledging His Mighty Miracles, even as Jerusalem burns? Is there a mightier reflection of the Drops of Light from the Ohr haGanuz?

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