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From
Simcha Groffman

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Kinder Torah
For parents to share with children at the Shabbos Table

Parashas Ki Savo

Birchos HaShachar (3)

"Which brocho are we now learning, Abba?"

"'She'asa li kol tsorchi' (Who has provided me with all my needs). The siddur Iyun Tefillah relates that man was the last of Hashem's creations. Everything that he needed was already prepared for him before he came into this world. Therefore, he makes the blessing, 'Who has provided me with all my needs,' for everything was ready to fulfill his needs. The sefer Yesod ViShoresh HaAvodah declares that one should say this brocho with tremendous simcha (happiness) in his heart! Why? He has great emunah (faith) that the blessed Creator will supply all of his needs. Furthermore, one who owns a home, food, and clothing has even more reason to thank the Almighty for everything that He has provided. Our sages fixed this brocho when a person dons his shoes. Avudraham explains that one who is barefoot cannot move around to take care of his needs and the needs of his household. Therefore, his shoes are the key to providing everything. The Shela HaKadosh has a deeper explanation. Shoes show man's domination over the other creations. Inanimate objects are the lowest creations, followed by plants and then animals. Man slaughters an animal, takes its skin, makes it into leather, and wears it as a shoe on his foot. He walks with that leather under his foot to show his supremacy over the animal kingdom, and indeed all of the creations."

"May we always appreciate everything that Hashem provides."

"Amen, Avi. The next brocho is 'Hamaychin mitzadei gover' (Who establishes man's footsteps). We thank Hashem for creating all of the bones, tendons, muscles, and tissues in our legs and feet that enable us to walk. It is quite a sophisticated transportation system. Dovid HaMelech proclaimed this when he wrote, 'By Hashem are man's footsteps established' (Tehillim 37:23). Our legs are our main vehicle of transportation, carrying us everywhere that we need to go. Someone who cannot walk properly must exert a great amount of effort to take even the smallest steps. He may need crutches, a walker, or a wheelchair. Healthy legs take us great distances with very little effort. It is even relaxing and a great pleasure to walk. How wonderful is the gift of locomotion, Hashem!"

"We should always use our legs to take us to do mitzvos, Abba, as the Mishna states, 'Run to do even the slightest mitzvah' (Pirkei Avos 4:2)."

"B'ezras Hashem, Avi. Now we come to the brocho of 'ozer Yisrael bigvurah' (Who girds Yisrael with strength)."

"There is something unique about this brocho Abba. The previous brochos do not mention Klal Yisrael explicitly in the brocho. This one praises Hashem who girds Yisrael with strength. Why?"

"You have touched on a very interesting point, Avi. The siddur Meoros HaTefillah relates that the brocho is speaking about the belt that we wear around our midsection. The Gentiles also wear belts to hold their weapons. They view their sword, knife, and gun as the source of their strength. This is the key to their victory in battle. Klal Yisrael wears belts, but for a completely different reason. Our belts are worn for tsnius (dignity), to separate the upper and lower parts of our bodies. Our belts are also 'weapons of war' for us (so to speak), but the adversary is different. We are battling the yetzer hara. He is a much more formidable enemy than soldiers of flesh and blood. We need the world's mightiest ally - 'Hashem the Master of war' (Shemos 15:3) to help us. Our tefillos to Him bring the Siyata Di'Shmaya (Heavenly Assistance) to win the battle. We can only pray when we are tsnuah, with a proper separation between top and bottom. Therefore, this brocho, 'ozer Yisrael bigvurah,' praises and thanks Hashem for the might that He gives us when we properly pray to Him."

"I am ready for battle, Abba. I noticed that the next brocho, 'otayir Yisrael bi'sifara' (Who crowns Yisrael with splendor) also mentions our Holy Nation."

Yes, Avi. It is referring to our head coverings, which demonstrate our tsnius and humility. The Beis Yosef (Orach Chaim 46) explains that we are commanded to cover our heads so that the fear of Heaven may be upon us. The siddur Ohr HaChama adds that Hashem crowns Yisrael with the splendor of victory in the war with the yetzer hara. We are confident of our triumph as the verse states, 'You can conquer it!' (Bereshis 4:7)."

"I am ready to fight, Abba. I have everything I need - Hashem's Torah, mitzvos, intelligence, senses, strength, clothing, tsnius, humility, and Yiras Shomayim!"

"Avi, may you be crowned with victory today, and every day of your life!"

Kinderlach . . .

We have everything that we need to battle the yetzer hara. We have our bodies and souls, our senses, our strength, and our mobility. We have our food, clothing, and shoes. We have the spiritual gifts of tsnius and humility. Lastly, we have a promise from Hashem that we will be victorious! With humble praise and gratitude to the Creator, we can confidently go out today, and every day, pray to Him for Siyata Di'Shmaya, and triumph! Kinderlach, go out today and win!

Pray For Others

"And you will answer and you will say before Hashem your G-d, '[Lavan the] Aramean sought to destroy my father'" (Devarim 26:5). This is the beginning of the declaration made upon bringing the bikurim (first fruits) to the Beis HaMikdash (Holy Temple). Rav Zalman Sorotzkin points out that the Kohen (who accepts the fruit offering) does not speak on behalf of the one who brought the bikurim. Rather, each and every Jew is able to speak directly to the G-d of Heaven and Earth, without any intermediary. Hashem listens to his prayers.

Rav Sorotzkin continues to explain that with each additional prayer, Hashem brings Himself closer and closer to the worshipper. This concept is reflected in the prayer that we say three times, each time in a different order. "I look towards Your salvation, Hashem." "Towards You, Hashem, I look for Your salvation." "Hashem, I look forward to Your salvation." The first time we say Hashem's name at the end of the prayer, then in the middle of the prayer, and finally at the beginning. Each time, the Divine Presence draws Himself closer to us, and we pronounce His name sooner.

Kinderlach . . .

Hashem listens to you. Just think about that. The most powerful Being in the universe, the One Who created heaven and earth, listens to every word that you say to Him. What shall we say to Hashem during these days of Elul? Rav Noson Meir Wachtfogel, zt"l, suggests that we pray on behalf of other Jews. Do you know someone who is sick? Pray for his refuah shelayma (complete recovery). Pray for the poor man, the widow, and the orphan. All need Hashem's mercy. Praying for someone else accomplishes many things. It helps you love the other person, and feel for him. This increases unity among the Jewish People. These are all things that we are working on during the month of Elul. Pray for others. Strengthen the connection between Hashem and His people.

Kinder Torah Copyright 2010 All rights reserved to the author Simcha Groffman


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