What is Shevach? Part III

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    • Michal 3 months ago


      According to Malbim, “shevach” is described as the process of elevating, as the ability to see something higher than you did previously. [1]It is a word used to describe an increase, or profitability[2]. It is also found in Tehillim characterized as a process of humbling oneself and then becoming actually more[3].  Rav Simcha L Weinberg I believe describes it as a process of growth, and profitability.

      Yet there is another fascinating insight into the process and meaning of shevach shared by Rabbeinu Bachya[4].

      He calls the process of giving shevach a process of friendship,  a process of love!

      באור להתרועע, להשתבח

      He sources this concept in one of the verses of our daily P’sukei D’zimra[5], when we say, הַֽ֝לְל֗וּהוּ בְּֽצִלְצְלֵ֥י תְרוּעָֽה, Praise Hashem with cymbals of תְרוּעָֽה, sounds of love.   He says that one who is a friend or loves another surely is one who is one whose Middos are increased.  The love , or friendship engenders these two essential middos:

      • האחת השפלות- The self-measurement, the midah of humility, without arrogance.
      • והשנית שאינו ירא מן הבריות- The attribute of not being afraid from other human beings.

      We also use the word “shevach” at the Pesach Seder.

      כל המרבה לספר ביציאת מצרים הרי זה משובח,

      Whoever expands to tell about the exodus from Egypt , behold it is משובח.

      We now have a combination of ideas that I think will help illustrate what it means to give Shevach to Hashem.

      • Expansion
      • Growth
      • Profitability
      • Humility- midah
      • Not being afraid of people
      • Loving friendship

      It seems to me that because Hashem is One that wants to do good for another, “Liheiteev Lizulato”, asking us to give Him praise must be good for us, and does not serve just to give Him praise.  He could have created an army of angels to praise Him and does not need it for Himself, He is G-d!

      I think that perhaps Rabeinu Bachya is sharing something I find so beautiful and profound.  It seems to me that Hashem is giving us a mechanism, or the method to love Him, to be called His Friend and reciprocally.  When we expand Hashem’s name, it is loving Him.  The more we can find and discover about Him in creation, in our Torah learning, with interactions, the greater our love becomes.  Doing so helps us eliminate “gayva” as we realize all is sourced in Him, and we are able to then wear the garments of humility before Him.  The more we are increasing His presence when we are praising Him the more, we are not afraid of others, as this too is an expression of His love to us and our true freedom when having a relationship with Hakadosh Baruch Hu.  It would be reasonable to then say that the telling of the Exodus of Egypt is our ways of expressing love for Hashem, and  the ultimate freedom from self-and externally imposed slavery.




      [1] (Tehillim, 117:1)

      [2] ( Gmarra Gittin, (5:3) and Bava Kamma, 9:4.)

      [3] https://partnersinprayer.live/forums/topic/what-is-shevach-part-i/; https://partnersinprayer.live/forums/topic/what-is-shevach-part-ii/

      [4] (Vayikra,6:2-2 hakdama)

      [5] מלשון (תהילים ק״נ:ה׳) בצלצלי תרועה

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