Moneh mispar la’kochavim, l’chulam sheimos yikra.
He counts the number of the stars, to all of them He assigns names.
In our previous segment, we said that Hashem counts the multi-trillions or more of stars (it is said that there are more stars than all the grains of sand on earth) and gives each a “name,” meaning that each has a specific purpose and power. We connected this pasuk with the next one, which speaks of Hashem’s limitless and unfathomable awesomeness. We wrote about how Hashem assigns a unique purpose in life for each and every one of us.
In this segment, we offer a thought that connects our pasuk to the prior pasuk. We had previously offered one understanding of “u’m’chabeish l’atzvosam” (two segments ago, in Hallelukah 2 – 3). We understood that the phrase “u’m’chabeish l’atzvosam” means that Hashem will take our residual pain away when He shows us that the very pain and suffering we are remembering and bemoaning was actually our salvation. When our eyes are opened as to how the pain and suffering benefited us and saved us, we will thank and praise Hashem for the actual pain and suffering that we endured.
This week, we offer a different understanding of that phrase, combined with our current pasuk.
The word atzvosam, as understood by the S’forno, means those who have intermarried and who violate Shabbos. Too often, people in that situation feel that they can never return to Hashem and that all hope is lost for them. However, here, David HaMelech teaches us that this is not true. We quote from ArtScroll’s T’hillim, page 1,711 (Tehillim / Psalms, by Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Feuer – commentary quoted here with permission from ArtScroll Mesorah Publications):
“To this cry of despair, the Psalmist responds confidently: Fear not! G-d’s knowledge and concern extend to the farthest reaches of the universe. G-d cherishes and counts even the smallest star in the most remote galaxy and calls it by name, i.e., He recognizes its unique purpose and function. Similarly, G-d values even the most distant and estranged Jew, and will undoubtedly retrieve every one of them from the Diaspora (see Ibn Yachya and Ibn Ezra).”
Referring back to last week’s segment, the role of some may be to eventually return to Hashem after having drifted away from Hashem and Torah. That struggle, which may last for decades, may be that person’s purpose and role. Every mitzvah they perform under those circumstances is precious and priceless to Hashem.
The Avos d’Rabbi Nasan, based on the last mishnah in Perek 5 of Pirkei Avos, says that the reward for a mitzvah performed when it is very difficult is worth 100 times the same mitzvah being performed by someone for whom it is easy. For those who have drifted and are, many times, in emotional pain, giving tz’dakah or saying Sh’ma once or putting on t’filin once or lighting Shabbos candles once may seem to them as a very small inconsequential act. However, to Hashem it is a HUGE act because they are in such a difficult situation.
May we see the day soon when Hashem brings us all back to Him with the coming of Mashiach, may it be speedily in our day.
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