The War in Israel Part 15: The Power of Ashrei VI

הדר כבוד הודך, ודברי נפלאותיך אשיחה – The splendorous glory of Your power, and Your wondrous deeds I shall discuss.

הדר andכבוד  refer to that small part of Hashem’s actions that are revealed to us through nature.  הוד refers to that which is hidden from us. It is important for us to find Hashem behind the veil and share our find with others.  גבורות and נפלאות refer to miracles that are beyond nature and readily reveal Hashem’s presence.1  When we speak about Hashem’s revealed actions through nature and those that transcend nature in casual conversation (אשיחה), and in telling over to others (יגידו) with intent, we cause Hashem to increase the revelation of His כבוד.2  This is in fact one of the purposes of Tefilah as defined by Rav Chaim of Volozhin in his work Nefesh HaChaim. Through our tefilos and praise, we are charged and privileged with the task of bringing down the flow of ברכה, so the כבוד of Hashem is more visible to the world.

In Ashrei 5 last week, we discussed the tremendous opportunity we have to bring Hashem into our daily lives and into the daily lives of others, by attributing all that happens to us to Hashem. Doing this on a constant basis will certainly enhance and strengthen our אמונה (which, Chazal teach us, requires constant strengthening) and the אמונה of those around us. The idea of אשיחה goes even beyond this. Wherever we are and with whomever we are speaking (except those times when it would not be appropriate), we can bring Hashem into the conversation. In fact, many of us are accustomed to saying b’ezras Hashem and im yirtzeh Hashem without even thinking about it. We should consider giving more thought before saying those words and perhaps elaborating on them when speaking with those around us. As an aside, there is a difference between these two expressions.  B’ezras Hashem is used when discussing a mitzvah or other service of Hashem. Here we are not saying IF Hashem desires, because He certainly desires us to do His will.  Im yirtzeh Hashem is used when discussing mundane matters. Here we say IF Hashem desires.

Allow us to leave you with a synopsis of the powerful words of the Chazon Ish relating to שיחה, quoted by the sefer Nafshi Cholas Ahavasecha, from Sefer Maaseh Ish (חלק ב', עמוד קנ"ו):

אמונה is not something that requires learning and clarifying once. We must strengthen our אמונה consistently every day. How do we achieve this? By becoming accustomed to turning to Hashem in spontaneous tefilah whenever we have a need. For example, if we need to replace our refrigerator [The Chazon Ish used shoes as an example], we can say, “רבונו של עולם, I need a refrigerator. Please provide the funds needed and help me find the right refrigerator for me.” After we purchase the refrigerator, we should thank Hashem expressively. In this manner, we can strengthen our אמונה constantly, since we are regularly turning to Hashem (recognizing that He is the One Who provides everything). The Chazon Ish then tells us that this was the way of our holy Chazal. Their אמונה was tangible. The author of the sefer Nafshi Cholas Ahavasecha then tells us that this עבודה, described by the Chazon Ish, is called “עבודה of שיחה.”

May we merit to strengthen our אמונה and draw closer to Hashem each and every day.

מלבים תהלים קמ״ה:ה 1

רוקח חלק א׳ עמוד קמ״ה 2