The Weekly Tefilah Focus will now concentrate on a review of the brachos in Shemoneh Esrei of Binyan Yerushalayim, Malchus Beis David, and the Avodah to prepare ourselves to properly contemplate on a daily basis our loss of the open presence of the Sh’chinah and the Beis HaMikdash, and to express our longing for the coming of Mashiach and the return of the Sh’chinah to the Third and final Beis HaMikdash – may we merit so, speedily in our days. We will, b’ezras Hashem, resume with Az Yashir after Tish’ah B’Av, should we have to experience another one this year.

Part 5

Appreciation in the Midst of Tragedy

The fourth blessing is required on a Rabbinic rather than a Biblical level. As mentioned, it was instituted by the Sages of Yavneh after the destruction of the Second Temple, and after the unsuccessful Bar Kochba uprising [135 CE]. Specifically, it was instituted to express thanks that the many people who were killed at Beitar were finally able to be buried.

When we were being chased by the Egyptians at the Yam Suf and we were miraculously saved, the mal’achim wanted to sing praise to Hashem. However, Hashem did not allow them to. “My handiwork is drowning and you wish to sing a song of praise?” (Gemara, Megillah 10b). Conversely, when we eventually saw the Egyptians washed up on the shores of the Yam Suf, Moshe and the entire nation called out in shirah, the song of praise we know as “Az Yashir.” Why were we permitted to sing praise when the mal’achim were not? What happened to the fact that Hashem’s handiwork had drowned?

Part 4

The Temple and Birkas HaMazon

In the third blessing, we reference Jerusalem and the Beis HaMikdash (the Holy Temple). We need to understand what the connection of these two are to eating and to reciting Birkas HaMazon, and why these deserve a blessing on their own, and could not be included in the previous blessing, which referenced the land, the Torah, and bris milah, among other things. Why couldn’t we have added Jerusalem and the Temple to that list, and thereby saved an entire blessing, which now seems superfluous.

In preparation for Shavuos, we are presenting a review of three of our Ahavah Rabah segments (This is the third of three).  We will return, b’ezras Hashem, to learning Az Yashir after Shavuos.

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