Last week we saw that Moshe set the standard for the structure of prayer (praise, supplication, thanks) and that David used it in Shmuel II, 7. In that context, the prophet informed him that he had merited a unique gift – that his son would rule after him. By setting up a dynasty, it became possible for David’s son to build the Beit Hamikdash. This week we will learn from Gidon that true kingdom requires a succession of kingdom.
“Now Israel, what does Hashem, your G-d, ask of you: just to fear Hashem …” (Devarim 10:12). Chazal famously asked about the strange language of “just” considering that proper fear of Heaven is not so simple to attain (Berachot 33b). The gemara answers that for Moshe it was a simple thing, to which many ask that it does not seem relevant, as the commandment was said to all of Israel. The gemara also teaches us that “all is in the hands of Hashem except for yirat shamayim” (fear of Heaven). According to this, how can we pray (in Birkat Hachodesh): “Give us life that has within it fear of Heaven and fear of sin”? If it is up to us and not Him, how can we ask Hashem for the “gift” of yirat shamayim?
Since parshas Eikev teaches that “all Hashem wants from us is to fear Him,” it is an opportune time to discuss:
Under the Big Top
“Why do some people wear big yarmulkes that cover their entire head?”
“How large must my yarmulke be?”
“Is there a halachic difference between going bareheaded indoors versus outdoors?”
Will we accentuate the positive, the blessings of here & now that Hashem gives us, without dwelling on what we might be missing? And can we finally learn to see beyond the superficial trappings, to perceive the inner soul & the
holiness of the people & the things that surround us?