Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Birchas HaChodesh Insight

We say in the Yehi Ratzon on Shabbos Mevorchim:

Chaim she'ein bahem busha u'kelima,
Chaim shel osher v'kavod
Chaim she'tehei banu ahavas Torah v'yiras shomayim

Last Shabbos Mevorchim it struck me that these three lines represent the three levels of Talmud Torah:

Al menas l'kanter
She'lo lishma

The first request is that we should not learn Torah as a tool to embarrass or shame others.

The second request is that we should learn Torah even shelo lishma - for which the reward is b'smola osher v'kadod.

The third request is that we should Torah lishma (orech yamim b'yemina - l'yom she'kulo aroch) - with the approaches and ideals of ahavas Torah and yiras shomayim.

With this approach we can also explain the apparent redundant mention of yiras Shomayim, v'duk.


  1. Very nice! I've been partial to another explanation (I cannot recall the source, alas) of the repeated mention of yir'as Shomayim - that the phrase should be read as meaning "ahavas Torah veahavas yir'as Shomayim". I think this approach dovetails nicely with yours, actually.

  2. I think one acharon says that after we daven for osher vkavod, we need to ask for yiras shamyaim again.

    I have a pshat in Hu yigal osanu bkarov...chaveirim kol yisroel. Since the churban happened because of sinas chinam, we acknowledge that we must have chaveirim kol yisroel before the geulah can come.

    1. That was from Barry, but system didn't acknowledge name.

  3. Thanks, Shlomo and Barry, for the nice contributions. IIRC, R' Herschel Schachter says in the name of RYBS that Chaveim kol Yisroel refers to shittas ha'Rambam that in the absence of a Beis Din of semuchim, it is the tacit acceptance of the luach by Am Yisroel (in Eretz Yisroel) that is mekadesh chodashim.

  4. wow this is really, really geshmak

  5. Very nice!

    BTW, in the suddur "Aliyos Eliyahu" (edited by R' Lopiansky and R' Weinreb), they have the original text with just one "yiras shamayim." I'm not sure you need to mention it regarding learning lishmah.

  6. > With this approach we can also explain the apparent redundant mention of yiras Shomayim, v'duk. <
    What "redundant mention"?

    Rav (BT B'rachos 16b)
    {signature and sentiments certified by Rav Amran Gaon}