This D’var Torah should be a Zechus L’Ilui Nishmas my sister, Kayla Rus Bas Bunim Tuvia A”H, my maternal grandfather Dovid Tzvi Ben Yosef Yochanan A”H, my maternal grandfather Dovid Tzvi Ben Yosef Yochanan A”H, my paternal grandfather Moshe Ben Yosef A”H, my paternal grandmother Channah Freidel Bas Avraham A”H, my uncle Reuven Nachum Ben Moshe & my great aunt Rivkah Sorah Bas Zev Yehuda HaKohein,
It should also be in Zechus L’Refuah Shileimah for:
-My father Bunim Tuvia Ben Channa Freidel
-My grandmother Shulamis Bas Etta
-MY BROTHER: MENACHEM MENDEL SHLOMO BEN CHAYA ROCHEL
-HaRav Shlomo Ben Shayna Zelda
-Mordechai Shlomo Ben Sarah Tili
-Noam Shmuel Ben Simcha
_R’ Simcha Yitzchak Ben Mirela Yudka
-Chaya Rochel Ettel Bas Shulamis
-And all of the Cholei Yisrael, especially those suffering from COVID-19 and the Meiron tragedy.
-It should also be a Z’chus for an Aliyah of the holy Neshamos of HaRav HaGa’on V’Sar HaTorah Shmaryahu Yosef Chaim Ben HaRav Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky A”H, Dovid Avraham Ben Chiya Kehas—R’ Dovid Winiarz ZT”L, Miriam Liba Bas Aharon—Rebbetzin Weiss A”H, as well as the Neshamos of those whose lives were taken by terrorists (Hashem Yikom Damam), COVID-19, and the Meiron tragedy.
-It should also be a Z’chus for success for Tzaha”l as well as the rest of Am Yisrael, in Eretz Yisrael and in the Galus.
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Parsha Paradise/פרשה פרדס – Ha’azinu: “כִּי שֵׁם ה׳ אֶקְרָא הָבוּ גֹּדֶל לֵאלֹקֵינוּ” – To Whom was Moshe Talking? 🗣👥️️🌌🌍📜
In the song of Ha’azinu, Moshe Rabbeinu declares [Devarim 32:3]: “כִּי שֵׁם ה׳ אֶקְרָא הָבוּ גֹּדֶל לֵאלֹקֵינוּ” – “When I call out the Name of Hashem, come ascribe greatness to our G-d.” It is the most famous Pasuk in our Parsha, but what exactly does it mean? To whom was Moshe talking when he said it? How many several Halachos do we learn from this Pasuk?
Even the simple read isn’t so clear and is subject to debate. Ibn Ezra argues that these words were spoken to the heavens and earth upon whom Moshe called to testify that the B’nei Yisrael had been warned at the beginning of the Parsha. There are various verses in Tanach which describe the heavens and earth praising Hashem. Many other Rishonim, among them, Rashi and Rashbam content that according to the simple read, it was the B’nei Yisrael who were being called on to praise Hashem.
Ba’al HaTurim sees our verse as indirectly alluding to several Halachos. For example, the Torah juxtaposes this verse to the previous verse which features a description of rainfall upon vegetation, apparently to hint to the Halachah that we pray to Hashem when rain is withheld (Ta’anis 15A). Alternatively, he suggests that the description of vegetation next to our verse alludes to the Halachic opinion that states that we are supposed to praise Hashem with the most specific and descriptive of Brachos upon the food we eat (Brachos 40A). Finally, Ba’al HaTurim explains the juxtaposition between our verse and the following one which states that Hashem is “perfect in all of His actions,” teaching us that we make the Brachah of “Baruch Dayan HaEmes” (Blessed is the Judge of Truth; Brachos 54A), that we bless Hashem even when things don’t seem good; we declare Hashem’s greatness as His actions are perfect.
More directly, Chazal derived other Halachos from our verse through Drash. For example, Rashi explains that our verse is the source that when the Name of Hashem is declared and a Brachah is recited in the in the Beis HaMikdash, the response is not just “Amen,” but “Baruch Sheim K’vod Malchuso L’Olam Va’ed” (Sifrei Devarim 306:37; Berchos 21A, Ta’anis 16B).
Perhaps more famously, Chazal learn that our verse is the source for Birchas HaTorah, blessing Hashem before Torah learning, as Torah learning constitutes a declaration of Hashem’s Name, such that when one is learning, he must ascribe greatness to Hashem with a Brachah (Brachos 21A).
Finally, Chazal learn the rules of Zimun, a mini-quorum after meals, from our verse, specifically the change from singular to plural; “when I (singular) declare Hashem’s Name, come and ascribe greatness to our (plural) G-d” (Brachos 45A). From this shift, we learn that it takes three to create a Zimun, minimum, one to announce the blessing and two to respond.
It is interesting to note the Halachic difference between Birchas HaTorah which doesn’t require a Zimun of three while Bentching does. Why might that be? Perhaps the reason for this can be answered in Sod.
Zohar [1:160A] records a cryptic conversation between R’ Yehudah and R’ Chizkiyah which seems to somewhat address this issue (we will not present the entire Zohar here or even delve deeply as his Kabbalistic commentary is beyond the scope of this discussion). As they were traveling, R’ Yehudah resolved that it was time to engage in Torah study and cited our verse as his prompt, to “ascribe greatness to our G-d.” R’ Chizkiyah objected, apparently to the source, which seems to imply that it takes three to create the requisite quorum to ascribe greatness to Hashem. R’ Yehudah argued back that three are only required for blessing, i.e. Bentching. But, for Torah which elaborates on the Shevachos (praises of Hashem), it was sufficient for just the two of them to learn and ascribe greatness to Hashem’s Name.
What exactly is the basis for this difference between Tamud Torah and Birchas HaMazon? Perhaps the declaration of Hashem’s Name before Birchas HaMazon requires a full Zimun because that declaration is merely what we might call a “shout-out” to Hashem. However, the Torah itself is the holiest declaration of Hashem’s Name and praise which summons Hashem’s Presence even without a quorum, as Hashem himself attests [Shemos 20:6]. Thus, even between the pair of Chavrusos learning Torah together, or even one person learning Torah is joined by Hashem’s Presence and must therefore ascribe this greatness to Hashem’s Name.
We should all be Zocheh to ascribe greatness to Hashem’s Name in all of the aforementioned ways, and Hashem should rest His Presence among us in the ultimate fashion with the Geulah and the coming of Moshiach, Bimheirah Biyomeinu! Have a wonderful Shabbos!
-Yehoshua Shmuel Eisenberg