Ha’mei’ir la’aretz v’la’darim aleha b’rachamim, u’v’tuvo m’chadeish b’chol yom tamid maasei b’reishis.
He Who illuminates the earth and those who dwell upon it, with compassion, and in His goodness renews daily, perpetually, the work of creation.
In our first segment introducing our brachah of Yotzeir Or, we wrote about the many benefits Hashem provides to the earth through the sun. Here, we mention the earth, but we also mention that the shining light benefits those who live upon the earth. We proclaim that all of this benefit is created and delivered by Hashem with rachamim, compassion.
There are many ways in which we benefit from the sun physically and emotionally. While too much sun can cause damage to our bodies, the right amount of sun is said to benefit us both emotionally and physically in a number of different ways. The sun provides vitamin D, which is essential to us both physically and emotionally in many ways.
HaRav Avigdor Miller and HaRav Shimon Schwab point out the compassion of Hashem in placing the sun in the exact position vis-à-vis the earth. This precise placement provides us with the many benefits we enjoy without scorching us and without freezing us.
We naturally tend to take the recurring cycle of sunrise and sunset for granted. Here, we are reminding ourselves that Hashem renews His creation daily. When we say these words, we have the opportunity to briefly think about Hashem’s awesome creation and His abundant love for us, which are both amongst the highest virtues and methods of nurturing and growing our awareness and love of Hashem.
Rabbeinu Yonah (Shaarei T’shuvah 3:17) writes: “For the sake of these virtues man was created. What hope is there for G-d’s creation if he does not devote his soul’s labors and the essence of his activities to those things for whose sake he was created?”
Perhaps we should take a moment, especially on a beautiful “blue sky” day, and focus on and savor both the physical and emotional enjoyment, as we feel the warmth of the sun. Let us take advantage of the opportunity to tangibly feel Hashem’s love for us and thank Him for the warmth of the sun and for the beauty of the clear blue sky or a blue sky with beautifully shaped clouds, and the pleasure we feel. When we bask in the warmth of the sun, let us remember that it symbolizes the warmth and love that Hashem feels for us – and let us reciprocate those feelings.
May we merit to battle and be victorious over the yeitzer ha’ra, who tries to rob us of these precious gifts and opportunities by keeping us so “busy” or glued to our cell phones, that we are oblivious to Hashem’s stunningly beautiful world.
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