Tzipisa L’Yeshuah- What does it mean?

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    • Michal 11 months ago

      The G’marra of Shabbas states that one of the questions posed by the heavenly court to every soul after completing life on earth is: “Tzipisa L’Yeshuah — Have you yearned for the final redemption?”

      I have heard this phrase defined as yearned, hoped for, looked for and think it is important to understand what this word means in order for us to fulfill this mitzvah.

      The first time the word Tzipa is in Torah is in Beraishis:

      וְהַמִּצְפָּה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אָמַ֔ר יִ֥צֶף ה’ בֵּינִ֣י וּבֵינֶ֑ךָ כִּ֥י נִסָּתֵ֖ר אִ֥ישׁ מֵרֵעֵֽהוּ, and [it was called] Mizpah, because he said, “May Hashem watch between you and me, when we are out of sight of each other. (Beraishis 31:49)

      1. Rabeinu Bachya says it is referring to a “lookout” or watchtower.  
      2. Ibn Ezra says it is a watchman when they can not see each other;
      3. Sforno says to serve as a witness.

      Therefore it seems as if to fulfill this most important mitzvah of “Tzipisa Lihoshua” one must embody a watchtower of Yehoshua according to Rabbeinu Bachya, and the Ibn Ezra, and a witness to it according to Sforno. 

      In summary,The definition of “Tzipisa ” from this pasuk is the ability to observe, look or watch.  It is a different type of vision than what we may think of ordinarily. It seems to be a process of  developing the ability to watch, observe, bear witness, and see  things that are hidden as Ibn Ezra states: “When they cannot see each other.”  

      The Malbim uses this idea of “watching” and being on the lookout for hearing the word of Hashem’s retribution  in order to illuminate others to do Teshuva.  The is based on a pasuk in Yechezkel containing the same root word. בֶּן־אָדָ֕ם צֹפֶ֥ה נְתַתִּ֖יךָ לְבֵ֣ית יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וְשָׁמַעְתָּ֤ מִפִּי֙ דָּבָ֔ר וְהִזְהַרְתָּ֥ אוֹתָ֖ם מִמֶּֽנִּי, “O mortal, I appoint you lookout for the House of Israel; and when you hear a word from My mouth, you must warn them for Me. ( Yechezkel, 3:17)

      The word צִפִּיתָ֤ appears again in a verse in Shemos regarding the instructions of making the Aron.  וְצִפִּיתָ֤ אֹתוֹ֙ זָהָ֣ב טָה֔וֹר מִבַּ֥יִת וּמִח֖וּץ תְּצַפֶּ֑נּוּ, Overlay it with pure gold, overlay it inside and out. (Shemos, 25:11) Rabeinu Bachya teaches that a Talmid Chacham has to be someone whose inside is as his outside; just as the Aron was covered with gold as the inside had gold. 

      The Chafetz Chayim brings us to these pesukim in Devarim: (Sefer Tzipisa LiHoshua Hakdama)

      הַיּ֣וֹם הַזֶּ֗ה ה’ אֱלֹהֶ֜-יךָ מְצַוְּךָ֧ לַעֲשׂ֛וֹת אֶת־הַחֻקִּ֥ים הָאֵ֖לֶּה וְאֶת־הַמִּשְׁפָּטִ֑ים וְשָׁמַרְתָּ֤ וְעָשִׂ֙יתָ֙ אוֹתָ֔ם בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ֖ וּבְכָל־נַפְשֶֽׁךָ׃

      This day, Hashem, your Elokim, directs you to observe these laws and rules; observe them faithfully with all your heart and soul. (Devarim 27:16)

      אֶת־ה’ הֶאֱמַ֖רְתָּ הַיּ֑וֹם לִהְיוֹת֩ לְךָ֨ לֵֽאלֹהִ֜ים וְלָלֶ֣כֶת בִּדְרָכָ֗יו וְלִשְׁמֹ֨ר חֻקָּ֧יו וּמִצְוֺתָ֛יו וּמִשְׁפָּטָ֖יו וְלִשְׁמֹ֥עַ בְּקֹלֽוֹ׃, Hashem, you have affirmed this day to be your Elokim, in whose ways you will walk, whose laws and commandments and rules you will observe, and whom you will obey. (Devarim 26:17)

      He says that when we return to Hashem, in this way by serving Him with all our hearts and souls then Hashem will return us, meaning we can bring the redemption closer in this way. 

      I think that one has to daven for Yehoshua, for our ultimate redemption as a constant undoubtedly and this keeps us as watchers for salvation biezras Hashem. 

      We say the brachah of Salvation in the Amidah prayer daily:

      אֶת־צֶֽמַח דָּוִד עַבְדְּ֒ךָ מְהֵרָה תַצְמִֽיחַ וְקַרְנוֹ תָּרוּם בִּישׁוּעָתֶֽךָ כִּי לִישׁוּעָתְ֒ךָ קִוִּֽינוּ כָּל הַיּוֹם: בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ מַצְמִֽיחַ קֶֽרֶן יְשׁוּעָה,

      Speedily cause the sprout of David, Your servant, to flourish and exalt his power with Your deliverance. We hope all day for Your deliverance. Blessed are You, Hashem, Who causes the power of salvation to sprout.

      However, if we take the ideas taught by Rabbeinu Bachya of “Tocho Kivoro” of the overlay being the same inside;   being one, and the beautiful concept taught by the Chafetz Chayim of what it means to be people who bring the redemption close; it seems as if we also need to be Watchers of serving Hashem with all our hearts and souls; for our Tefillos to match our actions, our hearts and souls. 

      May we be zoche to be people serve Hashem with all our hearts and souls, to be considered Watchers of salvation, for the rebuilding of the Bais Hamikdash B’mhaira B’yameinu. Amein. 




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