V’haarev na Hashem Elokeinu es divrei Soras’cha b’finu u’v’fi amcha beis Yisrael…
And please make [the Torah] sweet (so we will love learning it), Master of all, the Master of all strength, Who is able to do anything and Who takes special care of us, the words of Your Torah in our mouth and in the mouth of Your nation, the House of Yisrael; and may we and our descendants and the descendants of Your nation, the House of Yisrael, all of us should know Your name (that is, recognize and cling to Your ways)…
In the last segment, we mentioned the enormous opportunity we have every morning to plead on behalf of ourselves, our families, and all of Hashem’s children.
First, we ask that Hashem allow us and all His nation to feel the sweetness of Torah, absorb Torah within us, and become guarantors for Torah. This plea was elaborated on in the last segment.
Next, we ask that we, our offspring, and the children of all Hashem’s nation merit to “know Your Name.” What does this mean ?
There are three parts to understanding this request:
We are asking that we come to know Hashem’s ratzon, His will. By learning Torah, we come to know what Hashem wants from us and how we can bring Him “pleasure.” Rashi (VaYikra 1:9) says that when we do Hashem’s will, we bring Hashem “nachas ruach” (contentment or pleasure).
How do we know what Hashem’s will is? The more Torah we learn, the more we develop a “Torah mind,” which enables us to know. Many times, we need to ask a rav or rebbe, because we may not have developed sufficiently in Torah to have acquired enough of a “Torah mind” to understand what Hashem’s will is in any given situation. We therefore ask Hashem that the Torah we learn should develop within us the ability to know what Hashem’s will is, even when it is not explicit in the Torah.
We are also asking that, through our Torah learning, we gain understanding of Hashem’s midos so that we can emulate His ways. Hashem’s “Name” means His conduct in the world. Refining our character by emulating Hashem’s midos, such as kindness and compassion, are amongst the primary purposes of life and a fulfillment of the mitzvah of “V’halachta BiDrachav.”
Lastly, we ask that we develop an enhanced sensory and emotional recognition of Hashem’s presence – in other words, constant awareness of Hashem.
We present an excerpt from Mizmor L’Sodah 3, which was based on HaRav Avigdor Miller’s writings and lectures:
Speaking about “dei’ah,” the Gemara in N’darim 41a states: One who has it [dei’ah] in him, has everything; one who does not have it in him, what does he have?
The Gemara in B’rachos 33a states: Any man who has “dei’ah” within him, it is as if the Beis HaMikdash was built in his day.
What does “dei’ah” mean, and why is it of such magnitude, that if we have it, we have everything, and if we don’t, we have nothing?
HaRav Avigdor Miller zt”l writes that “dei’ah” means “true sensory awareness” or “emotional recognition” (of Hashem). “Dei’ah” will impact our thoughts, speech, and actions. If we have true awareness of Hashem, we have everything, because dei’ah will lead us to Torah, mitzvos, treating our brothers and sisters with love and respect, not speaking negatively of others, honesty and integrity, and working on refining our character traits.
As we can see, these requests on behalf of all of B’nei Yisrael, our descendants, and ourselves, are crucial in order to live a successful life in this world and for eternity.
To access print versions of previous Tefilah segments,
please visit OU Torah’s Search portal, select the Topic of “Tefillah,”
and then select “Weekly Tefilah Focus” from the Series list.
For Rabbi Mordechai Finkelman’s video and audio shiurim, which are based on our Tefilah Focus segments but also include his insightful and inspiring additions, please visit TorahAnytime.com
or simply search for “TorahAnytime Rabbi Finkelman.”
You can direct any questions or comments to Eliezer Szrolovits at 917-551-0150.