Yom Kippur Davening as a restoration of Hashem’s Glorious Name

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    • Michal 1 year ago

      During the 40 days up to and including Yom Kippur we are guided to say לְדָוִד ה אוֹרִי וְיִשְׁעִי.[1]

      Chazal teach us that the word וְיִשְׁעִי, commonly translated as my salvation is referring to Yom Kippur.

      Rabeinu Bachya says: “The redemption of the future which will not be followed by another exile, will become known as  ישועות .  It seems to me that on Yom Kippur we have a particularly powerful opportunity to restore the balance of the world to its correct place, with Hashem’s Glory restored, a world redeemed therefore.

      However, there is also a  negative aspect possible of  salvation and glory,  chas vishalom of  “Claiming Glory” due to Hashem.  We see in Shoftim (Judges),  how Hashem goes out of His way to prevent , and protect us from claiming His glory in victory.[2]

      פֶּן־יִתְפָּאֵר עָלַי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר יָדִי הוֹשִׁיעָה לִּי

      Hashem said  to Gideon, “You have too many troops with you for Me to deliver Midian into their hands; Israel might claim for themselves the glory due to Me, thinking, ‘Our own hand has brought us victory.[3]

      Rabeinu Bachya says Hashem chose to limit the number of people to go to war, to increase Hashem’s glory, and Name.[4]

      The same word of יִתְפָּאֵר is found in Yeshayahu when addressing the arrogance of King Assur, and the words describing this type of arrogance are:

      הֲיִתְפָּאֵר הַגַּרְזֶן עַל הַחֹצֵב בּוֹ אִם־יִתְגַּדֵּל הַמַּשּׂוֹר עַל־מְנִיפוֹ כְּהָנִיף שֵׁבֶט וְאֶת־מְרִימָיו כְּהָרִים מַטֶּה לֹא־עֵץ׃

      Does an ax boast over him who hews with it,

      Or a saw magnify itself above him who wields it?

      As though the rod raised him who lifts it,

      As though the staff lifted the man![5]

      I think that on Yom Kippur it is precisely the most opportune time to undo any of that negative aspect inside a person and instead restore His Kavod, and His Beauty in the world.  I think that it is exactly when we may seem to be outnumbered in the world, or overwhelmed in dealing with the different issues or evils that seem too great at times, and  it is therefore the most opportune time to Glorify Hashem’s name as  רב להושיע ; just as Hashem brings Gideon to victory despite the numbers seeming impossible. .

      When the Torah says in the second story of Creation how it was for Avraham Avinu that Hashem created the heavens and earth[6], it seems to be exactly what Yom Kippur allows us access to.  For the one person who is ready to stop at nothing to make Hashem’s name known to all.

      This also seems to me exactly what a Kohen Gadol is meant to do; to glorify Hashem’s name, connecting the heavens and earth;  as does Avraham Avinu for such a person we sing:.  אֱמֶת מַה נֶּהְדָּר הָיָה כֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל בְּצֵאתוֹ מִבֵּית קָדְשֵׁי הַקֳּדָשִׁים בְּשָׁלוֹם בְּלִי פֶגַע…

      May we all be zoche to restore Hashem’s Kavod, The beautiful balance of His Name glorified in the world , a word redeemed Biezras Hashem.





      [1] Tehillim, 27:1

      [2] In Beraishis, 2:3, the pasuk has the same word,  וַיֹּאמֶר ה אֱלֹקים הֵן הָאָדָם הָיָה כְּאַחַד מִמֶּנּוּ לָדַעַת טוֹב וָרָע וְעַתָּה פֶּן־יִשְׁלַח יָדוֹ וְלָקַח גַּם מֵעֵץ הַחַיִּים וְאָכַל וָחַי לְעֹלָם; found in the pasuk in Shoftim. Rashi seems to hint at the idea of a human being taking what belongs to Hashem, and Hashem actively prevents this as well: , ועתה פן ישלח ידו AND NOW, LEST HE PUT FORTH HIS HAND… [AND EAT AND LIVE FOR EVER] — And if he does live forever he is likely to lead people astray, so that they may say, “He, also, is a god”;

      [3] Shoftim, 7:2

      [4] “Hashem could have allowed ten or twenty thousand men to fight the Midyanim, and their victory would surely have been credited to G’d seeing that even such a number of men would have been greatly outnumbered by their opponents. However, Hashem chose to allow only three hundred men to go to war against Midian thus increasing the miracle and as a result His reputation.

      [5] Yeshayahu, 10:15

      [6] Beraishis, 2:4

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