Dealing with the “I don’t knows”

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    • Michal 4 months ago


      What is this process of “לְהַבְחִין ” that we bless Hashem for every morning?

      Morning Blessing:  הַּנוֹתֵן לַשֶּֽׂכְוִי בִינָה לְהַבְחִין בֵּין יוֹם וּבֵין לָֽיְלָה

      Rabeinu Bachya in his introduction to Parshas Bishalach describes this process of “Lihavcheen” “to distinguish” as the Godly ability to test what is in the “Heart”.

      He begins by describing the process of judgment, of whether a person falls into a category of “Rasha” (wicked)  or “Tzadik” (righteous); but the “Beinoni”(in between) goes through a process of “B’china”, as Hashem is a “Bochein L’vavos[1].

      Q: How does this apply to a human being?

      Q: How can I apply this in this morning blessing?

      Q: Why does Hashem even need to do a process of “לְהַבְחִין ” of the hearts of the “Beinoni”, does He not already know what our intentions are?

      The “beinoni” is when someone is not yet in a class of Tzadik and Rasha.  It is a necessary and divine gift Hashem gives to a person so a person can really make a choice.  Without having the two opposite sides pulling at him, it is no choice at all.

      This part of the process appears to me as the person who is “hopping on two branches of a tree”  , as the verse in Melachim says[2]:

      “Eliyahu Hanavi approached all the people and said, “How long will you keep hopping cLit. “on the two boughs.”between two opinions?-c If Hashem is The Empowerer, follow Him; and if Baal, follow him!” But the people answered him without a word.”

      A person cannot really be in a class called a Tzadik Gamur without going through this process of “Lihavcheen”.  Tzadik Gamur, implies that there was a process to reach “g’murrah”, or completion.

      Therefore our moments of doubt are actually a custom designed opportunity by Our Creator for us, for us to reach our highest self.

      I once heard a person describe this particular struggle of being pulled from both opposites at the same time, as something he was incredibly grateful to Hashem for.  With tremendous joy, he  embraced the conflict as he understood it as a moment of definition of self , by having the opportunity to be a human being and choose.

      General Prayer– Two Branches

      “ Exercising Prayer consciousness.

      The Two Branches:

      1.  “My Tefillah matters, and has power”
      2. “My tefillos Chas V’shalom don’t mean anything, it does not matter –

      The Choice:

      How do I choose to daven today?

      This is very much connected to an idea about prayer taught by Harav Yaakov Weinberg, z”tzal in his description of Hashem, as desiring the prayers of tzadikim. הקדוש ברוך הוא מתאוה לתפילתן של צדיקים.

      He says as follows that when it says Hashem desires tefillos, the prayers of Tzadikim, it means that he desires the tefillos, and waits for a person to process what it means to daven, and the power of tefillah.  One who has applied לְהַבְחִין בֵּין יוֹם וּבֵין לָֽיְלָה  to the concept of Tefillah.

      Meaning he is describing a person that uses his gift of Bina to conclude the following about Hashem and the power of Tefilla He gave us.

      “[Hashem] is so interested [in my prayers], [meaning] He listens to what I ask, and responds and reacts.  [Understanding that} [it] then [leads me to understand that] what I do makes a difference! I’ve got to know that what I do matters.

      “ And if what I do matters, I have to make decisions and I have to do things after considering are they right? Are they proper? It matters. All of “ba’alei aveirah” are “ba’alei aveirah” because they think it makes no difference. It doesn’t matter.  (Harav Yaakov Weinberg)

      General Prayer-  Adam Harishon:

      This idea goes back to the first Tefillah of the Torah by a human being.

      The Torah describes the vegetation having “not yet” come forth.  The vegetation was at the entrance of the ground but “betwixt and between[3]”  until Adam Harishon came and seeked Rachamanus on those plants to grow.  In other words, he davened.

      וכל שיח השדה טרם יהיה בארץ (Beraishit, 2:5)

      The Gmarrah in Chullin (60b) describes the waiting for the prayer of Adam Harishon for the very vegetation to grow , was because  שהקדוש ברוך הוא מתאוה לתפלתן של צדיקים.

      Therefore, a most incredible thing is part of this morning blessing! הַּנוֹתֵן לַשֶּֽׂכְוִי בִינָה לְהַבְחִין בֵּין יוֹם וּבֵין לָֽיְלָה

      We are blessing Hashem for giving us the ability to daven, as did Adam Harishon!  Hashem waits for us to pray.  Hashem waits for us to refine, and refine our needs, our awareness of Him in all we do and say!

      I daven for all of us to experience the joy when facing the “I don’t knows” as our opportunity to emulate The Primal Human Being’s first Tefillah, of making the choice to pray, as a statement that what we do matters, that our tefillos matter, and may Hashem accept our Tefillos so that all we do and say is wrapped up in our Tefillos, choosing placement in the class of Tzadikim Gimureem Biezras Hashem.








      [1] מַצְרֵ֣ף לַ֭כֶּסֶף וְכ֣וּר לַזָּהָ֑ב וּבֹחֵ֖ן לִבּ֣וֹת ה׳ For silver—the crucible;
      For gold—the furnace,
      And Hashem tests the mind. (Mishlei, 17:3)

      [2] וַיִּגַּ֨שׁ אֵלִיָּ֜הוּ אֶל־כָּל־הָעָ֗ם וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ עַד־מָתַ֞י אַתֶּ֣ם [2]פֹּסְחִים֮ עַל־שְׁתֵּ֣י הַסְּעִפִּים֒ אִם־יְהוָ֤ה הָֽאֱלֹהִים֙ לְכ֣וּ אַחֲרָ֔יו וְאִם־הַבַּ֖עַל לְכ֣וּ אַחֲרָ֑יו וְלֹֽא־עָנ֥וּ הָעָ֛ם אֹת֖וֹ דָּבָֽר


      [3] Idea taught by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg, On Elul

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