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Tehillim Tools: The Three Weeks: 108:11

“Who will bring me into the fortified city, who will lead me until Edom? Has not the Lord forsaken us, and the Lord does not go forth with our armies? Give us help against the adversary, futile is the help of man. Through the Lord we will do valiantly and He will trample our adversaries (to see Psalms 108:11–14).”


The Chidah does not read the verse as, “give us help against the adversary,” but as, “Here is the help we need to fight our adversary! (Yosef Tehillot)” The Chidah is reminding us of the principle that we can always find the seeds of our salvation in our suffering.

“Through the Lord we will do valiantly,” the Hebrew word for valiantly is Chayil, which also means armies; this refers to the fact that we raise armies of students to independent thought even during the darkest moments of the diaspora (Rabbeinu Ovadiah Seforno). The fact that we are nurturing future generations of independent thinkers is an indication of the power we have to survive and thrive.

The Yalkut HaGershoni insists that the armies are not only our students but the Heavenly Angels we create with each mitzvah we perform, each word of Torah we study, and each letter of prayer we recite.

During the 3 weeks it is essential that we 1) the seeds of our salvation search to find the seeds of our salvation, 2) that those who can nurture students of independent thought, and 3) that we pay extra attention to the value and power of our mitzvot, Torah study, and prayers, and the mighty Angels we bring into existence.

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