Last week, we reviewed the global theme of the brachah of “R’tzei.” It is a brachah in which we ask that we – ourselves, our tefilos, and our service to Hashem – be “pleasing” to Him and that we merit to see the return of His Sh’chinah in the rebuilt Beis HaMikdash in our days with our own eyes.
In a sense, we can view Yaaleh V’Yavo as an extension and strengthening of our pleas for Mashiach and the rebuilding of Yerushalayim Ir HaKodesh. The days we recite Yaaleh V’Yavo are days where there were additional korbanos brought in the Beis HaMikdash. If we look at the Musaf tefilos of Rosh Chodesh, the Yamim Tovim, and Rosh HaShanah, we see that the theme of our tefilos is to mention the additional korbanos we used to bring, and then ask Hashem to establish the Beis HaMikdash in Yerushalayim once again so that we can bring the korbanos. To gain a deeper perspective, we offer an excerpt from the tefilas Musaf of Rosh Chodesh from the Pathway to Prayer Weekday Siddur by HaRav Meir Birnbaum (pg. 351-352):
Mizbei’ach chadash b’Tziyon tachin…
“(Therefore, we ask you to) establish a new Mizbei’ach in Tziyon (in the Beis HaMikdash), and then we will bring on it the korban Olah of Rosh Chodesh, and we will offer the young goats of Rosh Chodesh willingly, and in the renewed avodah in the Beis HaMikdash we will all rejoice.
“And (we will rejoice) in the songs of David, Your servant, that will be heard in Your city (Yerushalayim) that the Leviim will say in front of Your Mizbei’ach. May You show us the eternal love that you have for klal Yisrael and the bris that you made with the Avos (to increase their offspring and redeem them), You should remember for the last generations – that is, for us.
“And You should bring us to Your city, Tziyon, with the sound of joyous song, and to Yerushalayim, where Your Beis HaMikdash is with everlasting joy, and there (in the Beis HaMikdash) we will be able to bring before You our obligatory korbanos – (that is,) the t’midim of the morning and the afternoon, in the order they are in the Torah, and the korbanos Musaf (of each day they are brought) according to their laws in the Torah.”
In the second part of the Musaf tefilah, before concluding with the final three normal brachos of the Shemoneh Esrei, we ask Hashem for various physical and spiritual needs for the new month.
When we look closely at Yaaleh V’Yavo, we see a similar structure to the Musaf tefilah. After asking Hashem to elevate our tefilos (to be discussed in more depth in a later segment), we ask Hashem to “remember” us, our Avos, the Mashiach, Yerushalayim, and the Jewish People. This is, in effect, the same request as the first part of Musaf, where we ask Hashem to establish the Beis HaMikdash in Tzion and bring us all back to Yerushalayim. The second half of Yaaleh V’Yavo parallels the second part of Musaf. Here, we ask for all we need from Hashem.
The connection of Yaaleh V’Yavo to the brachah of R’tzei is evident. We are in the midst of the brachah requesting to find favor with Hashem, and we ask for the service to be returned to the Beis HaMikdash and that we personally witness the return of the Sh’chinah to Yerushalayim. In Yaaleh V’Yavo, we start out, as well, asking in a more detailed way that our tefilos be elevated and find favor before Hashem, and we ask that Hashem “remember” us, our Avos, the Mashiach, Yerushalayim, and His nation klal Yisrael.
Hashem is timeless and never forgets anything. What do we mean when we ask that Hashem should “remember” us? One understanding is that we are asking that Hashem take action based on that remembrance. We ask Hashem to act based on remembering the merits of the Avos who were totally and absolutely dedicated to Hashem and His will. We ask Hashem to act on His remembrance of the Mashiach, Yerushalayim, and klal Yisrael – and bring the Mashiach, and bring us back to a rebuilt Yerushalayim. Thus, there is a synergy between the brachah of R’tzei, Yaaleh V’Yavo, and the Musaf tefilah.
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.