Shabbat Mevarchim Rosh Chodesh Av: Drops of Light Three
“May You give us long life – a life of peace, a life of goodness, a life of blessing, a life of sustenance, a life of physical health, a life in which there is fear of heaven and fear of sin, a life in which there is no shame nor humiliation, a life of wealth and honor, a life in which we will have love of Torah and fear of heaven, a life in which God fulfills our heartfelt requests for the good. Amen, Selah.”
There is a difference between making these requests as we lived in relative comfort and security, and making these requests in Jerusalem that is burning, or in the Warsaw Ghetto. Picture a person about to go into exile without any inkling of what to expect asking for these gifts. It is an entirely different prayer.
“A life in which there is fear of heaven and fear of sin,” and, “a life in which we will have love of Torah and fear of heaven,” reflect an incredible sense of priorities on the part of the person in a cattle car on the way to Auschwitz; he wants more than goodness, blessing, health, wealth and honor; he wants to continue to grow in his relationship with God. This is a Drop of the Hidden Light that burns inside our souls and will shine on the diminished Moon that is Israel so that it can reflect God’s Light in the world.
We also know that our fear of heaven, our fear of sin, and our love of Torah, need a special blessing from God to survive the exile. Even as He hides Himself, we turn to Him to plead for His help in nurturing our relationship with Him so that it will not only survive, but actually thrive. We are acknowledging God as the Source of all the Drops of Light we have accessed. As the Ba’al Shem Tov teaches; this acknowledgement is the most powerful of all the Drops of Life.