The Shabbos Table – Beshalach: R’ Y. Sacks Shlita: “Zeh Keili V’Anveihu” – Hidur Mitzvah / Tiferes Ba’ale’ah

This D’var Torah should be a Zechus L’Ilui Nishmas my mother Chaya Rochel Bas Dovid Tzvi A”H, 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


-Mordechai Shlomo Ben Sarah Tili

_R’ Simcha Yitzchak Ben Mirela Yudka

-Chaya Rochel Ettel Bas Shulamis

-Yonatan Menachem Mendel Ben Orly, Eli Aharon Michel Ben Chaya

-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) and other tragedies.


-It should also be a Z’chus for success for Tzaha”l as well as the rest of Am Yisrael during this dire time, in Eretz Yisrael and in the Galus.

-The wounded should experience Refuah Shileimah, the captives should be returned safely, the fallen should experience Kevurah and Aliyah for their Neshamos and Nekamah for their Dam, their Krovim should experience Nechamah, the Chayalim should be Matzliach and Minatzei’ach, and Am Yisrael should experience Geulah.






Be”H, I will be translating / transcribing / paraphrasing Divrei Torah of my Rebbi, HaGaon R’ Yonason Avner Sacks Shlita. (Any inaccuracies, whether added, misrepresented, or due to omission and/or points lost in translation or context should be attributed to me alone. * = My addition.)





“Hidur Mitzvah / Tiferes Ba’ale’ah”



Based on:

“Hidur Mitzvah Tiferes Ba’ale’ah” (Yomim MiKedem – Parshas Beshalach, Page 408)

Sicha – Parshas Beshalach: Tiferes Ba’ale’ah [תפארת בעליה] (2021)



“Zeh Keili V’Anveihu” – “Hisna’eh L’fanav B’Mitzvos”


In Parshas Beshalach, we find in Shiras HaYam, one of the Pesukim that the Gemara in Shabbos (133B) cites as the basis for the concept of Hidur Mitzvah (Beautifying of a Mitzvah). That is the Pasuk of “Zeh Keili V’Anveihu” (Shemos 16:2, lit., “This is my G-d and I will beautify Him”) which the Gemara Darshan’s (expounds) as follows: “Hisna’eh L’fanav B’Mitzvos”-“beautify oneself before Him with Mitzvos.”


“A Nice Succah, a Nice Lulav” – Hidur in the Cheftza Shel Mitzvah


The Gemara suggests various examples of Hidur Mitzvah; among them, Succah Na’eh (a beautiful Succah), Lulav Na’eh, Shofar Na’eh, Tzitzis Na’eh, Sefer Torah Na’eh, and so forth. When you look at the Gemara superficially, it seems as though the object of the Mitzvah, the Cheftza Shel Mitzvah, should be one that exhibits a certain sense of beauty. Rashi in Bava Kama (9B, s.v. “בהידור מצוה עד שליש במצוה”) makes a stunning comment that not only should one have Tzitzis Na’eh (beautiful fringes), but Rashi adds Talis Na’eh, in other words, the Beged itself (garment) which hosts the Tzitzis.


(This provides some interesting food for thought; would one suggest by analogy that the Beged is to the Tzitzis as a Bayis is to a Mezuzah, such that one should have a beautiful house as a Hidur for the Mitzvah of Mezuzah? Maybe in certain communities, yes, but that would be a striking Chidush. There is such a Diyun [discussion] in R’ Chaim on that Rashi).


Those examples given in the Gemara only inform us about the object of a Mitzvah, that it needs to be beautiful. However, Hidur Mitzvah is not limited to the object itself.


Matzah with an Appetite, Answering Aloud, Binding a Lulav – Hidur in the Ma’aseh Mitzvah


  • Achilas Matzah L’Tei’avon

The Sugya in Pesachim (99B) discusses the concept of Achilas Matzah L’Tei’avon, that on Pesach, a person should consume Matzah with an appetite, with a sense of zeal, passion, and enthusiasm. The Gemara is not discussing the Matzah, but rather the manner in which one fulfills the Mitzvah of Achilas Matzah. And there, Rashi (s.v. “לא יאכל”) writes that Achilas Matzah L’Tei’avon is a Kiyum (fulfillment) of Hidur Mitzvah, “Zeh Keili V’Anveihu.”

  • Shomei’a K’Oneh vs. Aniyah Chashiva T’fei

Tosafos in Brachos (21B, s.v. “עד שלא יגיע שליח צבור למודים”) comments on the principle of “Shomei’a K’Oneh” (lit., “one who hears is like one who answers aloud”), that one can merely sit back and listen to someone else “perform” a Mitzvah and thereby be Yotzei (discharged) with his declaration. However, Tosafos writes that although that one can be Yotzei Al Yidei Shmiyah (discharged through the mode of listening), nonetheless, “Aniyah Chashiva T’fei” (“answering aloud [oneself] is more significant”). It is better to do so yourself. Even though one can be Yotzei Al Yidei Acheirim (discharged through others[s’ performance]), it is more appropriate that a person be conscious to fulfill the Mitzvah individually.

Tosafos in Succah [38B, s.v. “שמע ולא ענה יצא”], writes that to answer aloud oneself is a “Mitzvah Min HaMuvchar” [“Mitzvah from the choicest manner”]. However, our Tosafos in Brachos (21B) refers to this as a form of “Hidur Mitzvah,” that performing the Mitzvah yourself as opposed to relying on others is a part of “Zeh Keili V’Anveihu.”

  • Lulav Tzarich Eged

The Avnei Neizer writes (Siman 433) that we find this concept even within the classic case in the Gemara in Succah (11B) of “Lulav Tzarich Eged” (Lulav needs to be bound). By binding the Lulav with the Hadassim and Aravos, I fulfill a Hidur Mitzvah. Where in this case is the Hidur Mitzvah? The Avnei Neizer writes that the Hidur is not the beauty of the binding itself, not in the Cheftza of the Lulav, but in the Ma’aseh Netilah (act of taking), by taking the Minim as one. It shows a sense of Chavivus (affection) for the Mitzvah. It is a Hidur in the Ma’aseh Mitzvah.


Yetzias Yidei Chovasan L’Chal HaDei’os


There is a Bi’ur Halachah (Siman 656) who quotes the Pri Megadim (and I think you need a good Rebbi to tell you when to apply this Pri Megadim) who says that even though, technically speaking, we may Poskin like a certain Shitah (position), there is a concept of “Yetzias Yidei Chovaso L’Chal HaDei’os” (lit., fulfilling one’s obligation according to all opinions). Suppose one wants to perform a Mitzvah in a way that accounts for and fulfills the opinions of all of the Shitos, the Da’as of the Machmirim (stringent ones). When that is appropriate and when it is not appropriate is an important discussion, but what is the Kiyum of Yetzias Yidei Chovaso L’Chal HaDei’os?

The Pri Megadim writes that to be Yotzei L’Chal HaDei’os is considered a form of Hidur Mitzvah, that it is a part of “Zeh Keili V’Anveihu.” “Hisna’eh L’fanav B’Mitzvos” means to not simply to get by with the Shuras HaDin (letter of the law), but to try to perform every Mitzvah “Lifnei Meshuras HaDin” (beyond the letter of the law). That is also part “Zeh Keili V’Anveihu” (See Mishbetzos Zahav, Hilchos Lulav 656:1).


“Tiferes Ba’ale’ah” – Hidur in the Oseh Mitzvah, a “Din in the Gavra”


Though the list can go on, what all of these examples have in common is that they are considered to be a fulfillment of “Zeh Keili V’Anveihu” and do not necessarily have anything to do with the Cheftza Shel Mitzvah, the object, but they are a description of the Oseh Mitzvah, the person who is performing the Mitzvah. That, I really think, is the Ikur HaDin of “Zeh Keili V’Anveihu,” “Hisna’eh L’fanav B’Mitzvos” (*Indeed, “Hisna’eh L’fanav B’Mitzvos” means quite literally to beautify oneself before Hashem with the Mitzvos). This is true for the person who secures a beautiful Cheftza Shel Mitzvah as well, that he is a person who is so meticulous to have a beautiful Succah. In a word, it is not Halachah in Cheftza, but a Halachah in the “Gavra” (the person himself).


This understanding of Hidur Mitzvah is clear when you look in Rashi in Yoma (70A, s.v. “להראות חזותו לרבים”), where Rashi writes a stunning phrase (See Minchas Asher, Shemos 25, where R’ Asher Weiss cites this Rashi to this point). There, the Gemara describes the scene on Yom Kippur where there was a Krias HaTorah in the Beis HaMikdash, and everyone is there, each one with his own Sefer Torah. Imagine the sight, which Rashi describes as a stunning manifestation of Hidur Mitzvah. But, why is it a Hidur Mitzvah?

First, Rashi writes “להראות נויו של ספר תורה”-“to show the beauty of (each) Sefer Torah.” But then, Rashi adds the following:


 “…ותפארת בעליה שטרח להתנאות במצוה שנאמר (שמות ט״ו:ב) זה קלי ואנוהו התנאה לפניו במצות…”


“…and the splendor of its owner who toiled to beautify himself with the Mitzvah, as the Pasuk says (Shemos 15:2): ‘This is my G-d and I will beautify Him’ – Beautify oneself before Him with Mitzvos….”


You know what the real Hidur Mitzvah is? Tiferes Ba’ale’ah, the splendor and beauty of the person who does the Mitzvah. That is something that a person has to always think about. It is easy to secure beautiful Dalet Minim or to build a beautiful Succah. But, to see to it that its match, that the beautiful Cheftza is something that reflects your passion, your enthusiasm for Avodas Hashem. That is the real challenge of “Zeh Keili V’Anveihu,” “Hisna’eh L’fanav B’Mitzvos.”


“Ehei Na’eh”-“I shall be beautiful”


The Gemara in Nazir (2A-B) describes one who makes various declarations; a person who says “Ehei Nazir”-“I shall be a Nazir” will indeed become a Nazir. But, suppose he declares: “Ehei Na’eh”-“I shall be beautiful.” The Gemara says that he is a Nazir. But, why should that make him a Nazir? How do we know that that is what he meant to accept upon himself? The Gemara explains that he was “M’salsel B’Sa’aro,” he was curling his hair, so it was obvious that he was referring to Nezirus. But, what if he wasn’t curling his hair? How would we interpret those words, “Ehei Na’eh”-“I shall be beautiful”? The Gemara interprets it as follows: “אֶנָּאֶה לְפָנָיו בְּמִצְוֹת”-“I will be beautiful before Him in Mitzvos”! In other words, it is “I,” the person, who will become beautiful before Hashem with Mitzvos.


Even though, sometimes, in Lomdus, we speak about the Cheftza Shel Mitzvah when we discuss Hidur, I would tell you that that is really the “effect of…,” that really, the Ikur Halachah of “Zeh Keili V’Anveihu – Hisna’eh L’fanav B’Mitzvos” is fundamentally a Chovas HaGavra. And that is a significant challenge. In Avodas Hashem, we are not satisfied merely by getting by, but we see to it that we are always performing Mitzvos B’Ofen HaMehudar (in a beautiful fashion), as it is not just a reflection of the Mitzvah, but it is a reflection on oneself as the Oseh Mitzvah, the “Tiferes Ba’ale’ah.” The mission in Avodas Hashem is to exhibit and demonstrate the beauty and splendor of being an appropriate Eved Hashem.



*We should be Zocheh to fundamentally beautify ourselves with the Mitzvos of Hashem, to perform the Mitzvos Hashem in the most beautiful possible way, and Hashem should reveal His splendor to us in the most beautiful possible way with the coming of the Geulah in the times of Moshiach, Bimheirah BiYomeinu! Have a wonderful Shabbos Shirah!