HaRofei lishvurei leiv, u’m’chabeish l’atzvosam
He is the Healer of the broken-hearted, and the One Who binds up their wounds (or sorrows).
We have offered two understandings of “u’m’chabeish l’atzvosam” previously [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.
Then we offered a second understanding, based on the S’forno.
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).”
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 those persons’ purpose and role. Every mitzvah they perform under those circumstances is precious and priceless to Hashem.
This same principle is true for anyone in a challenging and difficult life circumstance. I recall fondly, and now sadly, how Reb Refael Chaim Tzvi David z”l, who recently passed away, would make huge efforts walking painstakingly to Yeshivas Ohr HaChaim with his walker. He walked in snow, rain, frigid temperatures, and extreme heat. He would arrive many days dripping with sweat. Yet, if he saw me as he was just arriving, he would greet me with a smile and kind word. He was a tremendous inspiration to all who had the merit to observe him, even if they didn’t know him well.
If we just look at the act of walking to yeshivah or a pleasant greeting, it doesn’t seem like a major accomplishment. These acts are certainly important, but we wouldn’t think of them as great acts. But for someone in that situation, they were indeed great acts with great impact and inspiration to others.
Emunah and bitachon in painful and difficult circumstances, while enduring suffering, is at the highest levels of serving Hashem – arguably, the greatest level. We cannot begin to appreciate the greatness and reward of people who, day in and day out, sometimes for years, are living with physical, emotional, and mental illness and yet maintain and even strengthen their emunah and bitachon.
Coming off of Pesach, we note that the start of the redemption of B’nei Yisrael from Mitzrayim was in the merit of emunah, while the completion of the redemption at K’rias Yam Suf was in the merit of the higher level, which is bitachon. Likewise, our ultimate redemption will be as a result of our strengthening ourselves in the higher level of emunah – bitachon.
Bitachon means living our emunah. Those who are able to maintain their emunah and love for Hashem despite their suffering and pain, often for long periods of time, are demonstrating the highest level of emunah, yir’as Hashem, ahavas Hashem, and d’veikus.
We should note, as well, that we all daven for the “botchim” – those who have bitachon. In Shemoneh Esrei, in the middle of the brachah of “Al HaTzadikim,” we say: “and give good reward to all who sincerely believe in Your Name. Put our lot with them…”
We know that we don’t ask for rewards in general, and certainly not in the middle of Shemoneh Esrei. So how can we say, “v’sein sachar tov (and give good reward),” and what exactly is a “good” reward? One answer is that we are asking Hashem to strengthen the bitachon of those who are already botchim to even higher levels. “shimcha” is Hashem’s conduct with us in this world. We are davening for the people we mentioned before: those who are undergoing difficulties and still are maintaining their bitachon because they trust and rely upon Hashem’s running of the world and their particular circumstance. We then add that we, too, should have an increase in our bitachon.
It is also interesting to note that the brachos of Hashem returning His Presence to Yerushalayim as it was before, and bringing Mashiach, follow immediately after our request to strengthen bitachon. Perhaps it is because, as we stated, those events will occur in the merit of our bitachon, so we ask Hashem to strengthen our bitachon to hasten the coming of Mashiach, may it be speedily in our days.
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