The Name Gaza; Azzah

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    • Partners in Prayer 2 months ago

      Gaza in Hebrew is Azzah,עַזָּה, which means strong.

      It occurred to me that the name  עַזָּה, or עֹז, strength  might be significant in our current situation and may give us a hint as to what is possible.

      Notice the word עֹז, strength, that shares the same root word of the location now called Azzah, that is found in this verse, מִפִּי עוֹלְלִים וְיֹנְקִים יִסַּדְתָּ עֹז לְמַעַן צוֹרְרֶיךָ לְהַשְׁבִּית אוֹיֵב וּמִתְנַקֵּם, From the babies, and those who are nursing, You  have laid the foundation with  עֹז, to stand up to those who constrict you and cause you pain, and strength to finish off the enemy and to avenge.

      The Ramchal  in Derech Etz Hachaim, explains that the  עֹז, the strength referred to is breath of child. This means that if we learn Torah and do our Mitzvos with the energy of a child with a pure childlike thrill, without anything clouding it, to become part of the air we breath, and how we function, it is considered the breath of the words of children that the world receives its existence.  We are actually fortifying the world and giving its existence, its purpose and meaning.

      וההבל משבית הסיטרא אחרא לגמרי, and this breath [pure as a child] destroys the enemy completely!!

      The Ramchal does warn us about the Erev Rav. The Erev Rav weakens our Torah study and creation, its purpose and the ability to achieve good. Erev Rav  is when there is  a mixture of death in our good or in our Torah. For example, If one learns Torah and uses it to instigate arguments with others and negate others it is a form of Erev Rav. It is also those who study Torah with arrogance and without authenticity.  And, it also refers to people seeking Kavod so the Torah becomes tainted.

      If  however, we can serve Hashem in this pure way, a person is able to connect to the pure Torah taught in the womb  by an angel, one will be able to understand the purpose of his or her existence in this lifetime.[1]

      We can have this type of existence in mind in the blessing for Shalom, peace of the Amidah when we say: (Sefardik Siddur) וְטוֹב יִהְיֶה בְּעֵינֶיךָ לְבָרְכֵנוּ וּלְבָרֵךְ אֶת־כָּל־עַמְּךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּכָל־עֵת וּבְכָל־שָׁעָה בִּשְׁלוֹמֶךָ בְּרוֹב עוֹז וְשָׁלוֹם, And may it be good in Your Eyes to bless us and to bless Your people Israel, at all times and at every moment with Your Peace with much strength and peace.

      May be Zoche to serve Hashem with OZ, strengthening good in the world and destroy our enemies completely for a world of Shalom.


      [1] Based on class taught by Harav Simcha L Weinberg on Derech Etz Hachaim

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