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The Divine Presence

“Whoever accustoms himself to saying four things will merit to receive the Shechina: ‘Act for the sake of Your Name, Act for the sake of Your Right Hand, Act for the sake of Your Kedusha, Act for the sake of Your Torah’” (Shulchan Aruch 122,3). These four requests are inserted into the Elokai Natzur passage. What is so special about these four requests that they deserve such a rich reward?

Our Sages call this world darkness. Hashem has hidden Himself in the world so that only those who actively seek Him out will find Him. Yet He has given us a few tools to help us in this process: His Names, His Right Hand, His Kedusha and His Torah.

As physical beings, it is difficult to connect with Hashem, Who is completely spiritual. However, His Names are descriptions of His attributes, and they can help us to understand His actions in this world. Whenever we mention His Names, we come closer to Him, and our relationship is reinforced.

Some of Hashem’s Names describe His kindness, while others describe His attribute of strict justice. Since we are not able to fathom the depth of His ways, too much harsh treatment could challenge our faith. Hashem’s Right Hand represents His kindness, which is always extended to bring us back to Him.

We cannot help but like someone who makes the effort to understand us and fulfill our desires. Torah is the expression of Hashem’s will in this world, and its study and fulfillment is the purpose of creation. When every action of our lives is in accordance with His will, we are drawn very close to Him.

The word “kedusha,” holiness, literally means separation. After perceiving a glimpse of Hashem’s greatness through His Names, Right Hand and Torah, we recognize how different and distinct Hashem is from everything in creation. At that moment we experience a taste of kedusha, and we achieve the ultimate closeness to our Creator that is possible in this world.

At the conclusion of our prayers we mention these four tools, His Name, Right Hand, Torah and Kedusha. Our Sages promised that whoever does so on a regular basis will merit seeing the fruits of his labors. In the next world he will experience that which was impossible while confined to a physical body – he will merit receiving the Divine Presence itself (Shulchan Aruch 122,3).

As we conclude Shemoneh Esrei, we have one last chance to express the innermost chambers of our soul.


Text Copyright © 2010 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 

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