Moshe’s prayer Part II

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    • Michal 2 years ago

      I would like to offer another concept of Tefilla that I believe we can find in  Moshe’s tefilla for his sister Miriam.

      According to the Malbim,  Miriam spoke of her brother Moshe,  based on a mistaken premise she had.  In that moment she did not fully appreciate  that his prophecy was at such a heightened state directly related to his actual preparation and work he did on himself and this was not a result of receiving a free gift[1].  Perhaps this tefilla for Miriam was actually Moshe doing a  fixing of her mistake[2].

      וַיִּצְעַ֣ק מֹשֶׁ֔ה אֶל־יְהוָ֖ה לֵאמֹ֑ר אֵ֕ל נָ֛א רְפָ֥א נָ֖א לָֽהּ[3] We previously revealed how Rabeinu Bachya explains that Moshe verbalized his prayer for Miriam until it took form and shape before Hashem. Hence the reason for the word לֵאמֹ֑ר even though he first cried out to Hashem  with the words וַיִּצְעַ֣ק מֹשֶׁ֔ה אֶל־יְהוָ֖ה.   We connected his verbalization to the first use of that same root word, “וַיֹּ֥אמֶר” , “and He Said”,  in Bereishis , when Hashem Willed or Desired there to be light.

      However, the Ramban and Rabeinu Bachya both say that this “amira” of the verse וַיֹּ֥אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֖ים יְהִ֣י א֑וֹר וַֽיְהִי־אֽוֹר[4]  also means “decreed”.  This is based on a verse in Iyov, which states: “You will decree and it will be fulfilled[5].”

      There is a pasuk in Sh’mos that alludes to the power of our speech[6],”he must carry out all that has crossed his lips.

      The Noam Elimelech says that this verse is referring to a Tzadik, לֹ֥א יַחֵ֖ל דְּבָר֑וֹ, he must be very careful to not make his speech common or profane but instead words of Kedusha and words that are focused on attaching to Hashem.  However if other people come to him seeking physical needs, he must speak with them about these things and all their needs to help them. And all that he expresses with his lips will be fulfilled by Hashem.  This is based on the concept of  והצדיק גוזר והקב״ה מקיים״[7]”  “The Tzadik decrees and Hashem upholds his decree.”

      Since Tefilla is the service of the heart, perhaps we are being taught the way to make a tefilla powerful and a reality and fulfill it through deliberate contemplation and formation.

      If we follow the Noam Elimelech’s formula, there seems to be a special power to the one who is very careful with speech even when not at the set time of prayer.  If a person can use his speech to make a Kiddush Hashem, meaning to fulfill the Ratzon of Hashem abiding by His decrees and attaching to Him; and being very careful to pay attention to people’s needs, even the most physical needs and daven to Hashem to provide; he enters a realm of tefillah in which his words become decrees and Hashem fulfills them.

      What I am understanding  from Rabeinu Bachya, the Ramban, and the Noam Elimelech is that the words we use in our prayers create a reality.  The words we use to speak to others affect our prayers, and also create realities too.  The more we practice thinking before we speak, and are careful to use our words to fulfill Hashem’s Will and of course when we are actually davening in our designated times; the more our Tefillos can form and shape the world and new worlds.

      What if Moshe Rabeinu was saying that we can all perfect our speech, our prayers and reach a level of “Tzadik” of emulating Hashem’s speech that creates realities He Fulfills as His reciprocal response to us?  In other words, what if Moshe is actually demonstrating to us how to daven as a form of Shmiras Halashon, to pause and contemplate, process our screams until we can articulate it with awareness  to Whom we are davening to, etc.. , as a fixing of the mistake of Miriam in that moment? What if he was demonstrating that we can all strive to perfect our speech to reach a place of “He must carry out all that has crossed one’s lips, a real relationship in which Hashem is actually trusting us to create as does He?  It is us fulfilling Hashem’s tefillah, of “let there be light”.

      Meaning, the more we are practicing Shmiras Halashon through Tefilla, the more we can access the highest in ourselves, the ability to become a Tzadik through proper use of our mouths, as it says:  “מְק֣וֹר חַ֭יִּים פִּ֣י צַדִּ֑יק” , The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life[8].  The midah required to be considered Tzadik is associated with Yiras Hashem, reverence for Hashem, and deep awareness and awe.  When one  davens with such awareness of Hashem, our  speech is with Shmira, protected, as we are not chas v’shalom thinking lesser of Hashem, or others. This is why Shlomo Hamelech associates the Tzadik as being a source of life, just as he does with the midah of reverence for Hashem when he says: “Awe of Hashem is the source of life”[9].

      I think when the Torah says וַיֹּ֥אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֖ים יְהִ֣י א֑וֹר וַֽיְהִי־אֽוֹר , God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light,[10]  It really means He was davening for the light of Tzadikim to illuminate and elevate the world eternally.[11]  Such a prayer is one that goes up before Hashem.  Such a light , such a person’s tefilla,  rises up to before Hashem for continuous elevation[12]. It is such a tefilla that is planted before Him as in א֭וֹר זָרֻ֣עַ לַצַּדִּ֑יק וּֽלְיִשְׁרֵי־לֵ֥ב שִׂמְחָֽה.

      I think Moshe Rabeinu’s tefilla was his act of Tzedakah, planted for us, seeing in us the ability to master our speech and protect ourselves from the death of Lashon Harah.  וּ֝צְדָקָ֗ה תַּצִּ֥יל מִמָּֽוֶת[13]

      We can strive to perfect our speech in our prayers, to the point in which our Tefillos can enter the realm of Tzadik so that our speech is honored by Hashem as decrees, in which Hashem Himself will execute on!

      May we all merit to appreciate the power of our speech, our words and may our prayer become the stones of a Yerushalayim built quickly biezras Hashem.





      [1] Malbim: וע”כ בא ה’ להראותם שטעו בזה, כי יש מדרגה למשה שבו נעלה הוא מכל הנביאים שאל מדרגה זו צריך הוא להכנה ולפרוש מן האשה

      [2] Bamidbar, 12:1 וַתְּדַבֵּ֨ר מִרְיָ֤ם וְאַהֲרֹן֙ בְּמֹשֶׁ֔ה עַל־אֹד֛וֹת הָאִשָּׁ֥ה הַכֻּשִׁ֖ית אֲשֶׁ֣ר לָקָ֑ח כִּֽי־אִשָּׁ֥ה כֻשִׁ֖ית לָקָֽח

      [3] Bamidbar, 12:13

      [4] Beraishis, 1:3 , Rabeinu Bachya, Ramban

      [5] Iyov, 22:28

      [6] Sh’mos 30:3 , אִישׁ֩ כִּֽי־יִדֹּ֨ר נֶ֜דֶר לַֽיהוָ֗ה אֽוֹ־הִשָּׁ֤בַע שְׁבֻעָה֙ לֶאְסֹ֤ר אִסָּר֙ עַל־נַפְשׁ֔וֹ לֹ֥א יַחֵ֖ל דְּבָר֑וֹ כְּכָל־הַיֹּצֵ֥א מִפִּ֖יו יַעֲשֶֽׂה, If a householder makes a vow to Hashem or takes an oath imposing an obligation*an obligation Or “a prohibition.” on himself, he shall not break his pledge; he must carry out all that has crossed his lips.*

      [7] Moed Katan 16b

      [8] Mishlei, 10:11

      [9] Mishlei, 14:27 יִרְאַ֣ת יְ֭הוָה מְק֣וֹר חַיִּ֑ים לָ֝ס֗וּר מִמֹּ֥קְשֵׁי מָֽוֶת

      [10] Bereishis 1:3

      [11] אוֹר־צַדִּיקִ֥ים יִשְׂמָ֑ח וְנֵ֖ר רְשָׁעִ֣ים יִדְעָֽךְ (Mishlei 13:9)

      [12] ותעלה התפלה מצויירת ברוח לפניו יתעלה (Rabeinu Bachya, Bamidbar, 12:13)

      [13] Mishlei, 10:2

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