Moshe’s Prayer Part 1:

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    • Michal 2 years ago


      וַיִּצְעַ֣ק מֹשֶׁ֔ה אֶל־יְהוָ֖ה לֵאמֹ֑ר אֵ֕ל נָ֛א רְפָ֥א נָ֖א לָֽהּ[1]

      Rabeinu Bachya asks why does the verse need to say “saying” (לֵאמֹ֑ר) when it already says he burst into a cry (וַיִּצְעַ֣ק)?   He explains that that prayer was not simply in his heart, in his thoughts but he verbalized this prayer. This idea of verbalizing a prayer is found in the Gemara in Brachos which states: “If someone prays he must move his lips and enunciate the words of his prayer[2].”

      Rabbeinu Bachya[3] offers an explanation which I find fascinating.

      “The reason is that by moving one’s lips the letters one says assume a certain shape (in the atmosphere) through the use of voice, breath, and verbalizing them. When such a prayer has assumed a certain shape it ascends to the celestial regions shaped in the breath before the presence of Hashem, may His name be elevated.”

      I read this and began to wonder  about the following:

      Q: what about “making this shape when moving our lips together with our breath and voice” that translates into a prayer that is considered befitting to elevate and rise before Hashem?

      Q: What does  elevating of a tefilla mean?

      Q: What does it mean to have a tefillah that goes before Hashem?

      Q:  Why would a tefillah not go before Hashem?

      The first “Amira”  or articulation in Torah is with Kavyachol when He says:

      וַיֹּ֥אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֖ים יְהִ֣י א֑וֹר וַֽיְהִי־אֽוֹר

      God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.[4]

      The Ramban offers an explanation for this word of וַיֹּ֥אמֶר to mean either a חפץ as an expression of desire,  or a  רצון, willed (a stronger desire).  He goes on to explain that the Will of Hashem was not merely a simple Desire but was with Divine Thought.

      When looking at the creative of process in Beraishis,  the second verse  describes the earth as being  תֹ֙הוּ֙ וָבֹ֔הוּ, the earth had been a chaotic state.  Rabeinu Bachya say תֹ֙הוּ֙ is referring to matter which is indefinable yet also known as a strong hope and vision.  And,  בֹ֔הוּ is describing that which has a definition, a shape or form and identifiable.[5]

      Q: What if a Tefillah works the same way?

      Q: What if Rabbeinu Bachya is teaching us that Moshe Rabeinu, made sure to combine his desires, his strong hopes as in תֹ֙הוּ֙ with his processed thought (וָבֹ֔הוּ) until his desires had a shape and form when he placed them into identifiable words?

      Q: What if we are actually learning from Moshe what it means to do Avodas Halev, service of the heart or daven?

      Q: Is it possible that the more we can articulate our desires , as a process of taking our thoughts and making shapes with them we are actually drawing our own reality?

      I would suggest that perhaps each on of our Tefillos, is actually sourced from Hashems’ original words, of וַיֹּ֥אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֖ים יְהִ֣י א֑וֹר וַֽיְהִי־אֽוֹר

      God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.[6]

      It would be logical to suggest that these words are actually “The Original Tefillah” expressed by Kaviyochal in Torah.  The light was created so that human beings can relate to Hashem according to the Ramban on this verse.  Is that not what a tefillah is?  Is it not the case that when we daven it is the way human beings can access light from Hashem?   Or in other words part of davening is the recognition of a certain deficiency of light and we express our  “want” or “need” for light in our davening.

      Furthermore, not only do we learn that Hashem did not need another source of light to illuminate the world from its darkness, but perhaps He produced light out of a world of darkness, so that we can also do the same no matter the darkness, we can find light in creation, in the form of prayer.

      Therefore if all of our tefillos and permutations of tefillos are derived from the original “amirah” words of Hashem, giving us this Divine ability to both find light and create light even in darkness,  do we not have a responsibility to pay so much attention and appreciation of our breath, our voice and speech when we daven?

      May we all merit to appreciate the power of our Tefillos, of our breath, our voice, and speech when expressing our prayers, so that they rise up directly before Hashem Biezras Hashem.






      [1] Bamidbar, 12:13

      [2] Brachos 31

      [3]  וטעם החתוך כדי שיצטיירו האותיות ברוח פיו של אדם בקול ורוח ודבור, ותעלה התפלה מצויירת ברוח לפניו יתעלה, (Rabbeinu Bachya, Bamidbar, 12:13)

      [4] Bereishis 1:3

      [5] This is what Isaiah 34,11 had in mind when he said “He will measure it with a line of chaos and with weights of emptiness.” The prophet related the word “a line,” to the word which described something indefinable, visible but not substantive. Incidentally, this word is related or derived from Psalms 40,2 קוה קויתי ה’ [i.e. intense hope precedes concretisation of one’s wishes. An artisan envisages מקוה, a building in his mind’s eye before he builds it. The relationship of the word is that the stones are the manifestation, the format of the building the artisan had first envisaged

      [6] Bereishis 1:3

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