Hashem’s Prayer

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    • Partners in Prayer 5 months ago

      “Is there a Mitzvah to know that Hashem loves you,?” This question was posed by Harav Simcha L Weinberg, neiro yair, to a student.

      Rabbi Weinberg explained that we find this individual love of Hashem to each one of us in the mitzvah of,  וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ, You shall love your friend as yourself.[1]

      How does this mitzvah demonstrate Hashem’s for each person?

      We are taught in the third Halacha of the G’marra Rosh Hashana that Hashem keeps all the Mitzvos. As it says: אֲנִי הוּא שֶׁשִּׁימַּרְתִּי מִצְוָתֶיהָ שֶׁלַּתּוֹרָה תְחִילָּה, I am He Who keeps the commandments of the Torah first.[2] Therefore we know that Hashem keeps this mitzvah of, וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ, You shall love your friend as yourself.[3]

      Rashi teaches us that Hashem is known as a friend of Yisrael. [4] “The Holy One, blessed is He, is called a friend to Israel, and is known as your father’s friend, for He loved your forefathers.”[5]

      Perhaps, we can learn from Hashem how to be a best friend.

      Chazal teach us that Hashem davens, as the G’marra in Brachos states: יֵשׁ תְּפִלַּת ה, There is Prayer of Hashem.  It is derived from the verse,  וְשִׂמַּחְתִּים בְּבֵית תְּפִלָּתִי, and make them joyful in my house of prayer. [6]

      The Radak expands on what Hashem’s House of prayer looks like.

      The Radak explains that the House of Prayer of Hashem, is a House filled with joy.  Imagine having a home open joyfully for guests? Those who come to  His courtyard are joyful to be graced to be present amongst the prayers of Yisrael.  Hashem practices Hachnasas Ohrchim, Hospitality to guests,  in a similar manner to his direction of the Kohamim to invite in and welcome all those who want to be converts.  And, of course, how much more so all of Yisrael that come to return to Him, to their home, says the Radak.

      It seems to me that, Hashem’s prayers for us demonstrate His love to each one of us as a best Friend,  as a fulfillment of the Mitzvah of וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ.
      Perhaps, we can view our prayers in a similar manner.  Perhaps when we pray it is our opportunity to make our hearts a home of Simcha, rejoicing to extend our friendship; to be a source of joyous illumination to the nations of the world through our tefillah. It is our opportunity  to open our homes, our hearts in prayer for those who want to convert, and of course all of Yisrael who choose to return to Hashem.

      If we can daven this way, loving each other,  the way Hashem does, would that not be a most beautiful expression of וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ, of Hashem, our most beloved Friend?

       

       

       

       

       

       

      [1] Vayikra, 19:18

      [2] Based on Vayikra, 22:9

      [3] Vayikra, 19:18

      [4]  Proverbs 27:10

      [5] Shabbos, 31A: 6

      [6] Yeshayahu, 56:7

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