Weekly Tefilah Focus

Pathway To Prayer

The Weekly Tefilah Focus program, which started roughly six-to-seven years ago, has, baruch...

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Ha’sam g’vuleich shalom, cheilev chitim yasbi’eich.

He Who makes your borders peaceful, and with the cream of the wheat He sates you.

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It has been two months since our last segment in the second Hallelukah. We are up to pasuk 14, which is actually the concluding pasuk of the theme expressed in the last several p’sukim. As a preface to understanding this pasuk, we begin with an excerpt from our last summary segment, which starts from pasuk 8:

Pasuk 8:

Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who prepares rain for the earth, Who makes mountains sprout with grass.

Although clouds cover the sunshine and bring darkness, Hashem is preparing the rain, which benefits us, causing grass to grow even on mountains. So, too, Hashem’s judgment (experienced by us as pain) is truly compassion, as all He does is for the purpose of bringing us to our ultimate shleimus (perfection).

P’sukim 9-11:

He gives to an animal its food, to young ravens that cry out. Not in the strength of the horse does He desire, and not in the legs of man does He favor. Hashem favors those who fear Him, those who hope for His kindness.

The ravens who receive their sustenance, without any effort, proclaim that it is not believing in our might and strength (horses represent might in war while our legs represent strength) that Hashem desires, but rather Hashem favors those who fear (only) Him (meaning: Those who recognize that all sustenance, as well as everything else in our lives is controlled by Hashem), and who await and hope for His kindness, not relying upon anything or anyone other than Hashem.

P’sukim 12-13:

Praise Hashem, O Jerusalem; laud your G-d, O Zion. For He has strengthened the bars of your gates, and blessed your children in your midst.

“Shabchi” is a lower form of praise than “Halleli.” “Hashem, Master of all” is more general than “Elokayichmy G-d Who watches over me with Divine Providence.” The general population of Yerushalayim will praise the Master of All, while the more elevated people (“Zion”) will offer the higher praise of Elokayich, for it is Hashem and only He Who strengthened the bars of our gates, protecting us, and it is only He Who blesses our children in our midst. We won’t need to travel to earn our livelihood. Hashem will take care of us in Yerushalayim.

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Our current pasuk concludes this theme. Hashem and only Hashem is The One Who will make our borders peaceful from all enemies. The prefix letter hei of the word ha’sam indicates that Hashem is The One Who will make our borders peaceful. It is not diplomacy, superior armed forces, or superior weapons. Those may be the messengers but not the source.

This is similar to many other instances of the hei prefix. One example is the brachah of HaNosein LaYa’eif Koach in Birchos HaShachar. It is not the coffee that gives us physical strength, not pills or therapy that give us emotional fortitude, and not the business deal that gives us financial success. Rather, it is only Hashem Who gives us these gifts. He does so through various messengers, but He alone is the source.

Hashem will satisfy us with the choicest wheat, which is a sign of prosperity. Satiation is a special blessing. A person can eat a lot less than someone else and yet be more satiated. Similarly, one can have significantly less funds available to him and yet be happier and live a more satisfying and meaningful life. Here Hashem is providing a double blessing. First, we enjoy the choicest wheat, and second, we can be satiated even if we have less of it.

NEW TEFILAH SHIURIM: The Tefilah Connection

starting Monday, October 25, b’ezras Hashem

In only three minutes a day, you can transform your tefilah and enjoy a deeper and more meaningful relationship with Hashem, as you come closer to Him through your tefilos.

The NEW three-minute Tefilah recordings will be available on the Apple, Google, and Spotify podcast platforms. That will allow for listening at faster speeds and for easy retrieval of previous segments. For those who are not able to listen via podcast, we will continue to send our segments via WhatsApp and email.

To sign up to receive via WhatsApp, text “subscribe” to 917-551-0150.

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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.

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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.

The Weekly Tefilah Focus program, which started roughly six-to-seven years ago, has, baruch Hashem, covered many of the major parts of the Siddur. We covered them in depth, slowly, with the goal of deeply embedding each segment of tefilah into our hearts, so that they remain with us for life. We, b’ezras Hashem, will be continuing along the same path with the same goal. Both this written version, as well as HaRav Mordechai Finkelman’s popular weekly video/audio shiur available on TorahAnytime, will, b’ezras Hashem, continue to help us drive the foundations of Torah, such as emunah, greater sensory awareness and love of Hashem, deeply into our hearts through our daily tefilos.