We begin this segment of Yaaleh V’Yavo with the conclusion of the last segment from which we will naturally flow into the next part of Yaaleh V’Yavo.
HaRav Chaim Friedlander zt”l explains that our primary kavanah should be one of feeling pain over the lack of Mashiach’s arrival and the rebuilding of Yerushalayim, over the suffering of Hashem’s nation, and over the chilul Hashem that is the current state of the world. Only after we feel that pain can we sincerely request that we merit to be the last link in the chain to “bring it home.” We just also feel a responsibility to be that final link in the chain.
Once we feel that pain and responsibility, we can move to the next part of Yaaleh V’Yavo, where we make a sincere and heartfelt plea to Hashem.
lifleitah l’tovah l’chein u’l’chesed u’l’rachamim l’chayim u’l’shalom
“…for salvation (for all of klal Yisrael), for good (for all of klal Yisrael), to find favor (in Your eyes and in everyone’s eyes), and to grant us our requests (even though we are not deserving), and for mercy (not punishing us according to our wrongdoings), for life (for all of klal Yisrael), and for peace (for all of klal Yisrael)…”
We begin with requests on behalf of all of klal Yisrael, starting with the most basic of requests, that of salvation. From there, we move forward to the more advanced requests of “good” and finding favor in Hashem’s “eyes” as well as in others’ eyes, even though we are undeserving.
Next, we ask Hashem to grant our requests out of kindness and compassion. Kindness (chesed) means we deserve something, but Hashem grants us above what we deserve. Compassion (rachamim) means not only don’t we deserve to have our requests granted, but we actually deserve to be punished. We ask Hashem to grant the requests, nonetheless.
Next, we ask that all that we ask for should be beneficial for “life” (“chayim” refers to spiritual, eternal life). And finally, for this section, we ask that all that Hashem grants us moves us forward on the path towards shleimus (completion).
To recap, we began Yaaleh V’Yavo with asking that our tefilos rise above the barriers and be accepted.
We then ask Hashem to evaluate our deeds compared against our “tafkid” (role/purpose) of the previous month and take action (“remember”) to assign us an updated “tafkid” for the new month, so that we can stride forward in our quest for shleimus (completion).
Next, we ask Hashem to take action (“remember”) and allow us to continue and complete the work started by the Avos, to advance the world towards its ultimate completion, with the coming of Mashiach and the rebuilding of Yerushalayim ir ha’kodesh. At that time, the chilul Hashem of the suffering of klal Yisrael will cease, and Hashem’s assurance of our redemption and salvation will come to fruition.
Finally, in today’s segment, we added requests for salvation, for good, and to find favor in Hashem’s “eyes” as well as others’ eyes, so that we can accomplish our role in our pursuit of “chayim” (eternal life) and “shalom” (shleimus).
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