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Shemen Hamaor: Psalm 19: The Song of the Universe

The 24th of Tevet is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Avraham Dov Berish Flamm (1804-1873). Rav Flamm is considered to be the leading disciple of the Dubno Maggid, Rav Yaakov Kranz, although, in fact, the two never met. Rav Flamm was, however, the leading student of the Maggid’s writings, and it was he, together with the Maggid’s son, Rav Yitzchak Kranz, who edited these and prepared them for publication.

Rav Flamm was himself a popular maggid, and he held that post in several Polish and Lithuanian cities. Besides publishing the Dubno Maggid’s Ohel Yaakov and Sefer Hamiddos, Rav Flamm wrote several works of his own. His Yerios Ha’ohel and Sefas Ha’yeriah were printed together with Ohel Yaakov, while his Shemen Ha’mor is a free-standing work.

“The heavens declare the glory of the Lord, and the expanse of the sky tells of His handiwork. There is no speech and there are no words that their sound is unheard.” (Psalm 19)  The Rambam and the Ikkarim describe the influence of the heavenly bodies on the earth.

They are actually describing how everything we do and say echoes through the universe. Our constructive actions reflect a reality somewhere in God’s vast creation. Thus, there is nothing we say that does not echo through the entire universe.

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