lishmor v’laasos u’l’kayeim
to safeguard, perform, and fulfill…
We will continue to briefly explain the words in this beautiful request, based on the explanations of HaRav Chaim Friedlander (Rinas Chaim) and HaRav Avigdor Miller (Tefilas Avigdor). We preface each of the statements below with, “We ask You, Hashem, to place in our hearts (and in our children’s hearts) the desire and the ability:
lishmor – to guard:
- to guard our Torah learning by constantly reviewing our learning in order not to forget;
- to constantly be on guard against transgressing Torah laws and the path of Torah;
- to establish safeguards to distance ourselves from temptations – situations, places, and people – that present difficult challenges for us. Establishing safeguards requires awareness and thought, anticipating challenges in advance.
v’laasos – and to perform: to learn Torah with intent from the outset in order to practice all that we learn and to integrate the Torah into our very being.
The Ramban wrote to his son in his Igeres HaRamban: “Take care to always study Torah diligently so that you will be able to fulfill its commands. When you rise from study, ponder carefully what you have learned; see what there is in it that you can put into practice.” The Vilna Gaon on Mishlei (23:26) writes: “The purpose and primary involvement of learning Torah is to know the paved and straight path to follow to serve Hashem.”
The way we perform our mitzvos will determine
the extent of their impact on the world, on klal Yisrael,
and on ourselves and our families
- to have the opportunity to fulfill the mitzvos and not miss any, due to illness or unavoidable circumstances;
- to have the opportunity to fulfill the mitzvos of Eretz Yisrael and the Beis HaMikdash;
- to perform our mitzvos properly: with awareness, awe, love, simchah, purity of intent, enthusiasm, alacrity, and attention to the details of the mitzvah;
- to merit to encourage and enable others to perform mitzvos.
u’l’kayeim – and to uphold (to give Torah an everlasting permanence):
- by establishing and supporting yeshivos, shuls, and mikvaos;
- by supporting Torah scholars, and helping personally or financially to bring others closer to Hashem through learning Torah and the performance of mitzvos.
Integrating Mitzvos into Our Daily Lives
As mentioned above, we are asking Hashem to help us to perform our mitzvos infused with love, enthusiasm, and a powerful desire to come closer to Hashem through their performance. The way we perform our mitzvos will determine the extent of their impact on the world, on klal Yisrael, and on ourselves and our families. As we will see next week, our entire request ends with the word “b’ahavah.” We ask Hashem to assist us to serve Him in all we do – out of love for Him. May we be zocheh, b’ezras Hashem.
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You can direct any questions or comments to Eliezer Szrolovits at 917-551-0150.