D''vrei Mordechai

by Reb Mordechai Rosen z"l

What does Hashem Elokecha ask from you, but to fear Hashem Elokecha and to walk in His ways? (Devorim, Perek Yud, Pasuk Yud Gimmel)


This Shabbos we will bentch (bless) the new month - Elul. It seems appropriate at this time to review two vorts that were first said for Rosh Chodesh Elul 5750.

1. The Nesivos (a Mifarash on the Chumash and Megillah) says that in order for one to be successful in Teshuva one must reach a level of Oyen - nothingness. One has to feel that Hashem is everything and man is nothing. We can say that when a person thinks much of himself, when he thinks he is great, he uses the word Ani, I am. The word Ani in Hebrew is spelled Alef, Nun, and Yud. The gematria of the letter Nun is 50, the same gematria as the word HeAdam, the man, spelled Hay, Alef, Daled, Mem. When a person thinks of himself as something great he says Ani - putting the Nun - the man - before Hashem. When a person is striving to do Teshuva and he sees the greatness of Hashem, when he realizes that he is nothing, then he has reached a state of Oyen, spelled Alef, Yud, and Nun, putting Hashem before the man.

2. The Ramban in a discussion on the topics of Yiras Hashem and Ahavas Hashem says that Yirah must come first. Only when a person has successfully reached a level of Yiras Hashem can he begin to work on Ahava. It cannot work the other way. One cannot work on Ahava and then work on Yirah. There is a remez, a clue, to this in the words themselves. The word Yirah is spelled Yud, Resh, Alef, Hey and the word Ahava is spelled Alef, Hey, Bais, Hey. At the end of the word Yirah, you have the Alef & Hey that begins the word Ahava. Whereas, the letters at the end of the word Ahava do not begin the word Yirah. Ahava is a direct continuation of Yirah. (Editor's note: if you note the spelling of the words in English you find the same remez. At the end of the word Yirah, you have the beginning of Ahava.)

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