Home Subscribe Services Support Us


Parshas Vayikra -- Zachor 5757 - 1997

Outline #28

Chodshei Hashanah Following the Weekly Parsha

by Rabbi Yaakov Bernstein


Outline # 28

Parshas Vayikra, Zachor 5757 -- 1997

The Mishnah in Menachos (110:1) states: "The Torah says in regard to the burnt offering of the animal -- 'sweet smell.' In regard to the burnt offering of fowl, again it states -- 'sweet smell.' So, too, in regard to the flour offering, it is said -- 'sweet smell.' This tells you: It makes no difference if one does much or little, as long as his intention is for the sake of heaven."

The Shulchan Oruch states the law (1:3): "It is better to say few prayers with intention, than many without intention."

The Taz, commentary to Shulchan Oruch, questioned. "It makes no difference if one does much or little, as long as the intention is for the sake of heaven." Shouldn't it be better to say more prayers with concentration, than to say few prayers with concentration? Why does the phrasing of the Talmud indicate that quantity has no significance whatsoever?

The Taz answered with a story from the Talmud regarding Rava and Rav Hamnunah. Rav Hamnunah preferred to pray at length, but Rava said the prayers quickly. Since Rava's intent was merely to maintain his concentration (he was afraid he would be distracted if he were to pray too long), this was just as worthy as praying at great length.

There are many traditions regarding these quotes in the school of Peshischa -- Kotzk -- Ger.

Tikun Hatefilah

The Talmud (Brochos 30:b) states: The original Chasidim (pious) would prepare themselves for an hour and pray for an hour -- in order to direct their hearts towards heaven.

The Kotzker Rebbe asked: The Talmud should have said: The original Chasidim would prepare themselves for an hour -- in order to direct their hearts towards heaven, and then pray.

The Rebbe concluded: It was not that they would prepare for an hour, but their preparation and their prayer together comprised an hour. After the prayer, their hearts were directed towards heaven. (Ohel Torah)

In fact, this is how the Rebbe conducted himself, as is known. The prayers were short, swift and strong. He would not pray loudly, nor would he whisper; rather, he would say the prayers as if he were speaking to someone. After the davening, he would be changed -- as if another person... (Emes V'emunah)

The Rebbe explained: "It makes no difference if one does much or little, as long as the intention is for the sake of heaven." This is to say -- even the one who prays at length, also has to keep up his concentration! (Ohel Torah)

Chodshei Hashanah (Part Seventeen)

The Month of Adar vs. the Month of Av (Summertime)

The Gerrer Rebbe wrote: There is no advantage whatsoever in the quantity of the prayers. Perhaps, the opposite -- one who is unable to do much, and concentrates on the little that he does, is considered greater. Indeed, the main explanation of the quote "It makes no difference if one does much or little..." is referring to 'days of good' and 'days of evil.' Increasing action during the days of good, and decreasing action during the days of evil, is one and the same concept. As the Chozeh from Lublin said: " 'As Adar enters, increase simchah (rejoicing). As Av enters, reduce simchah.' (Talmud). The one refers to increasing sanctity, the other to reducing impurity." (Sfas Emes)

The month of Adar is the time of year that is effused with sanctity and purity. Prayers are heard on Purim more than any other time. The Divre Shmuel (the Rebbe of Slonim) indicates that the happiness of the day is essential to the power of prayer of Purim. "If we do His will and rejoice, He will do our will, and fulfill our prayers."

Purim: Saturday Night March 22, to Monday, March 24, 1997

Rabbi Yaakov Bernstein
PC Kollel
1 Babbin Court
Spring Valley, NY 10977
Phone: 914-425-3565
Fax: 914-425-4296

Good Shabbos!

Text Copyright © 1997 Rabbi Yaakov Bernstein and Project Genesis, Inc.



View Complete List

A Little Background Information
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

“So you Think You’re The Man, Alexander?” (Insights for Chanukah)
Jon Erlbaum - 0

Rabbi Frand on Parshas VaYishlach
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5770

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Sadly Released from Prison
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

Standing Firm
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5761

Just Five More Minutes of Sleep!
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

> The Real Story
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5763

Rabbi Naphtali Hoff - 5775

Learning To Be "Stingy" With Our Words
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Your Yetzer Hara!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

“Ipods, Eyeballs, & Happiness”
Jon Erlbaum - 0

A Celebration of Spiritual Victory
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5764


Power and Anti-Semitism
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5774

Light Up Right
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

Face to Face
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

Horns and Hedonism
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5763

Project Genesis Home

Torah Portion

Jewish Law



Learn the Basics




Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base


About Us

Contact Us

Free Book on Geulah! Home Copyright Information