Last class, we began to closely examine the second bracha of the Shemoneh Esrai and discussed G-d’s might and what it meant for that might to be “eternal”. Today, we will look at the next phrase. As a reminder, the second bracha states:
“You are eternally mighty, my Lord, the Resuscitator of the dead are You; abundantly able to save. [He makes the wind blow and He makes the rains descend]. He sustains the living with kindness, resuscitates the dead with abundant mercy, supports the fallen, heals the sick, releases the confined, and maintains His faith to those asleep in the dust. Who is like You, O Master of mighty deeds, and who is comparable to You, O King Who causes death and restores life and makes salvation sprout! And You are faithful to resuscitate the dead. Blessed are You, Ha-Shem, Who resuscitates the dead.”
Today we will be focusing on the bolded text – “the Resuscitator of the dead are You; abundantly able to save.”
In Talelei Oros on Tefillah, Rav Yissachar Dov Rubin cites to the Chofetz Chaim, who asks why the word “You” is repeated here when we just said that “You are eternally mighty…” Wouldn’t it have made more sense if the phrase read, “the Resuscitator of the dead, abundantly able to save”?
The Chofetz Chaim answers that the repetition is an allusion to the Talmudic teaching (Taanis 2A) that Ha-Shem personally takes care of rain, childbirth, and the Resurrection of the Dead (the Talmud teaches that there are three keys G-d does not give to any messenger).
Two classes ago, we discussed how we each can make the idea of resurrection applicable in our daily lives, noting that prayer itself can serve as a resurrection, as is the miracle that occurs each morning when we wake. As we repeat the word “You”, we should be reminded of – and take comfort in – the fact that G-d Himself personally is invested in us and in ensuring our physical and spiritual revival.
There is one more important point to make. Later in Talelei Oros, Rav Rubin quotes the Yalkut Katan, who notes that the word “abundantly” can be literally translated as “many”, which would then render the phrase as, “able to save many” or “many [He is] able to save.” The lesson to be learned, the Yalkut Katan says, is that G-d has an infinite amount of ways He can save us.
This, too, should serve as a source of comfort. If we ever, G-d forbid, should find ourselves in a situation that appears hopeless, have no fear. Maybe you think it impossible to find a solution or a way out. G-d, however, has no limit on the ways He can bring you salvation. No situation, however bleak, is truly hopeless.