Thursday, September 29, 2016

ha'ri'u lifnei hamelech Hashem -- ahava v'reyus

I had written something completely different that got lost due to technical difficulties -- hopefully I can fix that before Y"T and post it.  In the mean time, something quick on the parsha:
Atem nitzavim ha'yom kulchem...  everybody together.  Ba'chatzotzros v'kol shofar ha'ri'u lifnei hamelech Hashem. The Radomsker (in a piece on P' Ki Teitzei) explains the word ha'ri'u as coming from the word reyus -- v'ahavta l're'acha kamocha. The kol shofar is not just meant to connect us to Hashem -- it's meant to connect us to each other. Ha b'ha talya: it's only when we do connect with each other, when there is achdus v'reyus, that we can have the privilege of standing lifnei hamelech Hashem.
V'shav v'kibetzcha m'kol ha'amim asher hefitzcha Hashem Elokecha shama (30:3). Continues the very next pasuk, "Im ni'hiyeh nidacha bi'ketzei Hashem m'sham yikabetzcha... u'm'sham yikachecha." Isn't that just a repetition of the promise made in the previous pasuk? And if we are talking about the ingathering of exiles, shouldn't we be talking about the ends of the earth -- why "bi'ketzei ha'shamayim?" 
Rav Kook (quoted by R' Druckman in his sefer Tzam'ah Nafshi) explains that the first pasuk is talking about physical ingathering from exile. Hashem promises to bring us to Eretz Yisrael from wherever we are. But it's not just physical distance which is an obstacle to escaping galus. Some of us are spiritually distant as well. The second pasuk promises that even from "bi'ketzei ha'shamayim," the very edges of the spiritual universe (shamayim = ruchniyus), Hashem will bring a person back as well. 

Sefas Emes asks on that same pasuk why we need the extra words "mi'sham?" Why not just say "Hashem yikabetzcha v'yikachacha?" He answers that "mi'sham" here means the cause, the sibah.  From within whatever depths you sink to you can find the means, the energy, and the impetus to do better. The yeridah to that place will itself become the springboard to become better. 

That's a nice thought to take into Rosh haShana.

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