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Rosh Hashonah and Parshas Haazinu 5778 - Reaching the Heavens With Our Prayers

 

האזינו השמים ואדברה ותשמע הארץ אמרי פי

“The heavens shallhearken and I will speak, and the earth shall listen to the saying of mymouth.” (Devarim 32:1)

Moshe Rabbeinu tookheaven and earth as witnesses to what he was about to say. Why does he mentionthem separately, instead of saying that heaven and earth should listentogether? Furthermore, why does Moshe mention that what he is saying is comingfrom the mouth, when this is self understood?

The tzaddik RebbeAvrohom Yakov of Sadiger zt”l interpreted this verse as follows: “The Zoharwrites that if a person learns Torah without love and fear of Hashem, then hisTorah learning does not reach the heavens. But if a person does learn with loveand fear of Hashem, then the Torah he learned rises up to the heavens. Theverse is telling us that because the heavens hearken, it is a sign that theperson has been learning properly. The word adabeira (I willspeak) can also be interpreted to mean ‘I will lead.’ Someone who loves Hashemand fears Him will be worthy of leading the Jewish people.”

The Holiest days of theyear are approaching. On Rosh Hashonah and Yom Kippur  we stand in prayerfrom morning until night, begging Hashem for a favorable judgment. How can wemake sure that our prayers reach the Heavens? The person leading the prayers inshul should be especially worried about the effectiveness of his tefillos,because he is responsible for the congregation.

Of course, the mostimportant thing to do in order to be worthy of Divine mercy is to repent withsincerity and improve our deeds. In addition, a person who benefits the publicand brings others closer to Hashem becomes worthy of having his prayers answered.Therefore, in addition to taking upon ourselves to improve ourselves, we shouldalso focus on spreading awareness about Hashem and urging others to increaseachdus, Torah learning and tzedaka. We should remind others not to get angryand to forgive each other. When a person speaks to others aboutself-improvement and his words are listened to, then he earns the merit of allof the good deeds that came about because of his words. With these merits athis side, he will have a much greater chance to be judged favorably during theawesome heavenly tribunal.

I recently spoke to aperson who experienced many hardships this past year. One of his closerelatives caused him tremendous anguish and put him through many difficultiesand troubles. I advised this person to forgive his relative, and I explained tohim that if after suffering so much from him he will forgive him, then he willbe able to come to Hashem on the High Holy Days and say, “Master of theUniverse! I am but a human being and even though I suffered so much I am ableto forgive the person who wronged me. You are our dear Father in Heaven, andYou can certainly forgive us!”

We can see this in theverse: “The heavens should hearken and I will speak.” If we want the heavens tohearken to our prayers, then we should make sure that “the earth shall listento the saying of my mouth.” The verse emphasizes the mouth to show that it isnot enough to believe in something, but we must spread the word among ourfellow Jews by speaking up with out mouths. It is not enough to be botheredthat our fellow Jews are ignorant of Torah and mitzvos or their conduct isagainst the Torah. We must speak to them with kindness and explain to them whatis proper according to the Torah.

When trying to influenceothers, we should never speak from the mouth alone, but we should speak fromthe heart, as the Gemara says that “words coming from the heart penetrate theheart.” If you will speak from your mouth, with all your heart, and therebycause others to become better and improve their actions, then the heavens willlisten to your prayers and you will merit a favorable judgment.

May we indeed merit allkinds of yeshuos; those who are in need of a refuah should recover fully andthose who need a nechama should be fully consoled. May we all merit beingsealed in the Book of Life, and may we merit the final Geulah with great joy,speedily in our daysת Amein.

This Weeks Divrei Torah is dedicated in honor of:
Shmuel ben Chaim
Feinberg A"H
5708-5769 9 Shvat

This Weeks Divrei Torah is dedicated in honor of:

 
 
 
 
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