web analytics
September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Shabbos: A Day With Hashem – Our Father’s Table

During the nine days of mourning over the Bais HaMikdash, many of us have trouble really feeling the loss. This is why Chazal instituted halachos and customs to help us mourn. However, when we reach Shabbos Chazon, and the halachos of mourning come to a halt, it gets even harder. What can we do on this Shabbos to help us yearn for the Bais HaMikdash?

Eliyahu HaNavi tells us (Brachos 3a) that when Klal Yisroel say “Yihei shmei rabba mevorach – May His great name be blessed forever and ever,” Hashem figuratively shakes His head and says: “Happy is the king who is praised in his home! Woe to the father who exiled his sons and woe to the sons who were exiled from their father’s table!” We see from here that there are two separate tragedies that Hashem laments – His “loss” and ours. Let us explain.

 

The Bereaved Parent

One of the most heart-rending scenes in the Holocaust was when the Nazis cruelly snatched babies from their mothers’ loving embrace. The women shrieked in agony and felt as if a part of them was being taken away. Our strong desire to bear children is so that our ideals and accomplishments will continue in this world. Each of us is a link in the chain that started with the Avos and will end with the generation of Moshiach. The Avos began revealing Hashem’s presence in this world and they commanded us, their offspring, to continue that monumental task until the complete revelation will occur. We do so not only through our own actions, but also through what we etch in the hearts of our offspring. Woe to the parent whose child is taken from him! Besides for the natural pain, he sees his ability to continue his mission disappearing.

This is the first tragedy. It is obvious that essentially Hashem doesn’t need our help, but for unrevealed reasons He created this world in a way that He “needs” us to reveal His presence. When we had a Bais HaMikdash, we accomplished that task. We sacrificed korbonos using the four basic components the world is made from, which turned the mundane into spirituality. This exalted Hashem, and showed that the entire world was created in order to serve Him. The constant, open miracles in the Mikdash (see Avos 5:5) demonstrated that there was a Creator. However, when we stopped fulfilling His will, Hashem removed His presence from the Bais HaMikdash and this great edifice was destroyed. This is why when we shout with all our might: “May His great name be blessed forever and ever,” Hashem figuratively shakes His head. On the one hand it “comforts” Him, for we show that we desire His return, but on the other hand it causes “pain” and He proclaims: “Woe to the father whose children have gone to exile!”

 

The Exiled Child

The second tragedy is the one of the exiled child himself. When a child is torn from his parents, his connection to his past is severed. Even more so, only a father can truly understand his son’s heart and only a mother will spend sleepless nights caring for a sick child. When a child needs encouragement whom can he turn to? If he needs to be reprimanded, who will do it with love? Who will make sure that he has all his needs, and ensure that he doesn’t slip through the cracks of the system?

This is what happened when we were exiled from our Father’s table, the Bais HaMikdash. The Vilna Gaon explains that when we had a Bais HaMikdash we received our sustenance directly from Hashem. Now that it was destroyed, Hashem sustains us through the heavenly ministers of the nations of the world. Simply speaking, this is a sign of severe separation. On the one hand, we are still Hashem’s children, and thus, Hashem still loves us and takes care of us. But on the other hand, because of our sins, Hashem distances Himself and sustains us indirectly in order to arouse us to mend our ways.

About the Author: Rabbi Eliezer M. Niehaus, raised and educated in Los Angeles and subsequently Yeshivas Toras Moshe in Yerushalayim, is the Rosh Kollel of the Zichron Aron Yaakov Kollel in Kiryat Sefer , Israel. He lectures for the public and is the director of the Chasdei Rivka Free Loan Gemach. He can be reached at kollel.zay@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Shabbos: A Day With Hashem – Our Father’s Table”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Kreshnik Berisha is not Jewish but played for a German soccer team - before joining ISIS.
German Man on Trial for ISIS Membership Played On Jewish Soccer Team
Latest Judaism Stories
15th century Book of the Torah

This week’s parsha offers a new covenant; a covenant that speaks to national life unlike any other

Leff-091214

All Jews are inherently righteous and that is why we all have a portion in the World to Come.

Grunfeld-Raphael-logo

If mourning is incompatible with Yom Tov, why is it not incompatible with Shabbat?

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Since it is a Rabbinic prohibition we may follow the more lenient opinion.

How can the Torah expect me today, thousands of years after the mitzvahs were given, to view each mitzvah as if I’m fulfilling it for the first time?

Torah isn’t a theological treatise or a metaphysical system but a series of stories linked over time

In contrast to her Eicha-like lamentations of the previous hour or more, however, my youngest was now grinning from ear-to-ear.

An Astonishing Miracle
‘Why Bring the Infants to Hakhel?’
(Chagigah 3a)

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

e are in a time of serious crisis and must go beyond our present levels of chesed.

According to Ibn Ezra, the Torah was stressing through this covenant that hypocrisy was forbidden.

“Tony said that the code in most places in the U.S. is at least 36 inches for a residential guardrail,” replied Mr. Braun. “Some make it higher, 42, or even 52 inches for high porches. What is the required height according to halacha?”

Simcha is total; sahs is God’s joy in protecting us even when we are most vulnerable.

Not only do we accept You as our King, it is our greatest desire that the name of Your Kingdom be spread throughout the entire universe.

More Articles from Rabbi Eliezer M. Niehaus
Niehaus-090514

Not only do we accept You as our King, it is our greatest desire that the name of Your Kingdom be spread throughout the entire universe.

When a child needs encouragement whom can he turn to?

Is the fact that we can spend time with our families just a fringe benefit of Shabbos or an integral aspect?

Now that she has entered her husband’s domain, they become extremely close.

The more we are aware of Hashem’s involvement in our lives, the more we will act accordingly.

When Hashem took us out of Mitzrayim, we received not only a physical freedom but also a spiritual one.

Such a misunderstanding would render our words worthless, for we would not be declaring that Hashem is truly the Master of the Universe.

Friday night corresponds to Shabbos Bereishis – therefore we discuss the creation. Shabbos morning corresponds to the Shabbos when we received the Torah, so in Shachris we mention that. And finally, Shabbos afternoon corresponds to the Shabbos of the World to Come, so in Mincha we talk about the Oneness of Hashem, which will be clearly revealed at that time.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/shabbos-a-day-with-hashem-our-fathers-table/2014/08/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: