Shirata for Jewish Prayer & Song
Sha'alu sh'lom Yerushalayim - Pray for the peace of Jerusaelm.
2 of Kislev 5765 - November 15, 2004
At the fall of your enemies

This week we enter the month of Kislev, we prepare to celebrate the miracle of Hannukkah, the victory over our enemies.

Last week I found myself rejoicing at the death of Arafat: "May all your enemies, Israel, perish." I enjoyed reading the report on the Israeli newspaper: "The Palestinians: Arafat alive; Funeral on Friday." But the more I thought about, the more it seems that there is a difference between celebrating one's victory, and celebrating the fall of your enemy.

Proverbs 24:17-18 says:

	binfol oyvecha al tismach  
		At the fall of your enemies, do not be happy
	u'vikashlo al yagel libecha
		and at his failure, may your heart not rejoice
	pen yire'eh HaShem ve'rah be'einav
		Lest HaShem sees, and it will be bad in His eyes
	ve'heshiv me'alav apo
		and He will turn away his wrath from him [your enemy]

Malbim comments on these verses:

"17: At the fall of your enemy, do not be happy, as there is a difference between simcha, happiness, and ghil, joy. Simcha, happiness, is constant and refers to a permanent thing, while ghil, rejoice, relates to temporary or renewed things such as a good message, etc. Hence, says the verse, do not be happy permanently at the fall of your enemy from his stature, and even when he stumbles, which is the beginning of his fall, do not rejoice temporarily, upon news of the beginning of his fall. 18: Lest HaShem sees, and it will be bad in His eyes, as HaShem will see your cruelty and your measure of revenge, and will compare your enemies deeds to yours, and He will look unfavorably at your deeds, and He will turn his wrath from your enemy unto you."

The Besht on Parashat Vayetzeh

[Genesis 13:16] "The land upon which you are lying, I shall give it to you." Rashi comments upon this verse: "The Holy One Blessed Be He folded all of Eretz Yisrael underneath him, etc." This is a teaching of our fathers of blessed memory in the Talmud (Chulin 91b). [Indicating that the entire promised land was given to Jacob, as well as to his father and grandfather, and the the Holy One folded all of Israel under Jacob when he promised him 'the land under which you are lying']. I heard in the name of my teacher [the Besht], "He folded... etc." namely, that a person need not travel from one place to another to clarify his sparks, as he can clarify them wherever he is, and these are the teachings from the mouth of the sage of mysteries."

From Sefer Ba'al Shem Tov al HaTorah, Parashat Vayetzeh, 8.

My understanding of this profound teaching: the tools of your tikkun exit exactly where you are. You need not travel anywhere to find sparks to redeem. They are where you are.

Shirata Site

This week I'm experimenting with publishing this newsletter on the web. Please check and let me know.

Learning Hebrew

We had two beginning-level Hebrew at Gila Nissan's lesson last week, between 6:00-7:00pm before class. We need at least five for class to continue. Please let me know if you are interested.

Tikkun Haklali Preparation Practice

This past week I have started a limited version of the Tikkun Haklali practice, reciting Psalm 16, 32, 41 and 42 everyday. This week we'll learn Psalm 59 and add it to our practice.

The following file contains a first draft of the Hebrew, transliteration and translation of the first five Psalms of the Tikkun Haklali.

Song of Song Class

We're on for Wed, 4 Kislev 5765, November 17, 2004 at 7:00pm. Our plan is to learn Song of Songs on 2:9 with the Malibm commentary.

The following file contains our translation, Malbim commentary and creative verse commentary on Song of Songs 1:1-2:9. The file size is about 450Kb.


Ronnie Serr
1725 S. Genesee Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90019
323 939 1669

It's around Venice and Fairfax -- 3 blocks East of Fairfax, Between 18th Street and Airdrome

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