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Rosh Hashana: Amida: Kavanot Second Day Print E-mail

Rosh HashanaAnd so, too, O God, our Lord, instill Your awe upon all Your works, and Your dread upon all You have created. Let all works revere You and all creatures prostrate themselves

before You. Let them all become a single society, to do Your will wholeheartedly. For as we know, God, our Lord, that the dominion is Yours, might is in Your hand and strength is in Your right hand, and Your Name inspires awe over all that You have created.

 

Second Approach (Gra)

 

Pachad – Fear of punishment – distance –Neshama

Aimah – Awe – closer – Ruach

Yirah- Higher level of awe – closer still – Nefesh

 

The highest level of Awe can only come when even the lowest level of the Higher Soul is aware of God’s Presence.

 

Pachad is the fear of punishment that comes from distance. “For the fear (pachad) of God’s punishment was upon me, and I could not bear His burden.” Yirah is the fear of punishment that comes with clarity. Eimah is the awe that comes from experiencing the immediate presence of God.

 

Eimah and Yirah describe the responses of the Nefesh and Ruach respectively. They must be immediate and close by because they speak to the lower levels of the Higher Soul. Pachad, on the other hand, describes the response of the Neshama which dwells higher and more distant than the Nefesh and Ruach and therefore it does not need something close in order to respond. It is sensitive to things that are distant. The sounds of the Shofar awaken the 3 lower levels of the Higher Soul in descending order. It first brings fear from a distance and then it makes it more accessible to the lower levels of the Higher Soul.

 

Instill Your Pachad on all Your works: “There are harp and lyre and drum and flute, and wine at their drinking parties; but they would not contemplate the deeds of God, and would not look at the work of His hands.” The work of His hands refers to the creation of nature, as it is written; “When I behold Your heavens, the work of Your fingers; the moon and the stars that You have set in place.” Awaken my Neshama to the fear that comes from contemplating Your distant works.

 

Eimah on Your Creations: Although the action of Creation is yaish mai’ayin, something from nothing, the noun refers to everything. Allow my Ruach to see what is right in front of me in all of creation so that I may acknowledge Your exaltedness and be in awe of You.

 

All Your Ma’asim will have Yirah: This refers to Assiyah which corresponds to the Nefesh, the lowest level of the Higher Soul. Even the lowest part of my soul together with all of creation will be in awe of You.

 

Neshama: For as we know, God, our Lord, that the dominion is Yours: We already know that dominion is Yours, but our actions do not correspond to that awareness. I commit myself to act in such a manner that my actions will reflect the awareness that dominion is Yours.

 

Ruach: Might is in Your hand: This is the Divine Attribute of Din. I acknowledge Your attribute of Din. (Focus for a moment on the fear of Din.)

 

Nefesh: Strength is in Your right hand: This is the strength that God demonstrates in “conquering His natural response,”and control His anger for a long time to allow the wicked to do Teshuva. I understand that You are controlling Your anger in order to give me time to do Teshuva.

 

Your Name inspires awe over all that You have created: The culminating result of the above will be Yirah over everything.

 

And so, too, God, grant honor to Your people, praise to those who revere You, good hope to those who seek You, and eloquent speech to those who hope to You; gladness to Your land, and joy to Your city; flourishing pride to David, Your servant, and preparations of a lamp for the son of Jesse, Your anointed - speedily, in our days.

 

Good hope to those who seek You: “A drawn out hope, Tochelet, brings sickness of the heart, but desire attained is a tree of life.” The righteous do not hope for their reward in this world, but wait for the World to Come. They are the Meyachalim lach, the ones with a drawn out hope. We pray that You allow them and us to attain their desire immediately so they will have the Tree of Life.

 

Eloquent speech to those who hope to You: When God breathed the soul into Adam He gave man the power of speech. Please, give us the ability to use our power of speech to sing Your praises.

 

The Shofar is our song of praise to God.

 

Gladness to Your land, and joy to Your city: Simcha is the arrival of something new. Sasson is long term happiness. Please grant us Simcha that leads to Sasson that will lead to more Simcha etc.

 

The Shofar is our expression of Simcha and Sasson.

 

Flourishing pride to David, Your servant, and preparations of a lamp for the son of Jesse:

David will be the assistant to Moshiach; David will flourish into the Moshiach. David is a symbol of development; he will nurture his descendant who will be greater than he.

 

“For, as the earth sends forth its growth and as a garden sprouts forth its seedlings, so will my Master, the Lord, cause righteousness and praise to sprout forth in the presence of all the nation.” The time of the Moshiach is always described as a time of endless growth. It will be the world as it should and could be. It is what is possible at this time when all is renewed. We commit ourselves to use this world for constant growth; we will find eternal life in this world. We pray for the time of endless growth that will come with Moshiach.

 

The Shofar reminds us to use this world for constant growth; to attach to the World to Come.

 

And so, too, the righteous will see and be glad, the upright will exult, and the devout will be mirthful with glad song. Iniquity will close its mouth and all wickedness will evaporate like smoke, when You will remove evil’s domination from the earth.

 

The Gra agrees with Rashi that a Chassid is a higher level than a Yashar who in turn is higher than a Tzaddik.

 

The righteous will see and be glad: The Tzaddik constantly observes all the Mitzvot. There is a higher level of Tzaddik; Tzaddik Chacham. The Tzaddik attaches to God at his level. A Tzaddik Chacham is always expanding his awareness of God as it says; “That a wise one may hear and increase his learning.” We know that his wisdom constantly increases because it says; “He gives wisdom to the wise.” The Tzaddik and Tzaddik Chacham are described by their commitment to the relationship between man and God. Simcha is the response to something new. The Tzaddik Chacham who is always discovering something new will respond to the renewed world with Simcha. We commit ourselves to strive to be Tzaddikim Chachamim and we pray to be able to use that level to see that we are at this moment in a new world so that we can have Simcha.

 

The sound of the Shofar will be our expression of Simcha.

 

The upright will exult: The Yashar is the person who has developed his personal attributes and excels in the relationship between on man and another. He has a clear vision of what is correct and does not veer to the right or left; he goes Yashar, straight ahead. Everything he does is considered through the lens of Torah; “He has secured the eternal Torah for the Yesharim.” Their exultation relates to their exaltedness: “Through the (greatest) blessing of the upright a city is exalted (Ta’alotz)” In a repaired world the Yashar will receive the best of God’s blessing and will be exalted. We commit ourselves to be Yesharim and we pray for a repaired world in which the Yashar will receive the best of God’s blessings and we will all exult over his exaltation.

 

The sound of the Shofar will be our exultation over the raising of the Yesharim.

 

The devout will be mirthful with glad song: The Chassid is a reflection of truth and total faith. “He guards the steps of his devout ones.” “He guards the souls of His devout ones.” God responds to the faith of the Chassid with faith and reliability.

When God saves the Jews from their enemies, He first redeems them and provides good only then does He destroy their enemies. God first saved the Jews and then destroyed the Egyptians. God first raised Mordechai up and only then did He destroy Haman. God does this so that their enemies will see the greatness of the Jews and that God is the Controlling Power over all the earth, before these enemies are punished by God. When the Jews are saved and blessed by God they are filled with Simcha. They sing and rejoice after their enemies have been punished. This is why the Zohar says that happiness is in the morning and singing with joy follows in the afternoon, as we say in the Amidah of Shabbat Mincha; “Avraham yagail, Yitzchak yiranen,” first Gilah and then Rinah.

 

We pray that this will be the time that the Chassidim, who are guarded by God, will be redeemed and blessed and will merit to see the destruction of their enemies. We also pray to deserve to join then as they rejoice when they are redeemed and when they will dance with joy as they witness the punishment of their enemies.

 

The sound of the Shofar will be our celebration over our redemption and the destruction of our enemies.

 

Iniquity will close its mouth: “Thus there is hope for the poor and iniquity will shut its mouth.” The wicked will shut their mouths as if they didn’t exist. They will be too frightened of God to say a word in their defense. We pray that God’s Presence will be so powerful that the wicked will be powerless to open their mouths.

 

The sound of the Shofar will be the arrival of the Presence of God and will silence the wicked.

 

All wickedness will evaporate like smoke: “For the wicked will perish, and the foes of God are like the glory of fattened sheep: Consumed! In smoke they are consumed.” The resha’im are the ones who are successful in this world, “Why does the way of the resha’im prosper?” They assume that their success justifies their actions and proves that they are righteous. The moment the truly righteous prosper, and the way of God is revealed, the resha’im will deflate like smoke. Please reveal Your way in this world so that the resha’im will evaporate like smoke.

 

The Shofar announces the revelation of truth and will cause the resha’im to be consumed like smoke.

 

You will remove evil’s domination from the earth: Zadon describes active enemies; those who work actively to destroy God’s Presence. Once these enemies are destroyed, God’s Presence will fill the earth. We pray for the destruction of Zadon.

 

The Shofar announces the full revelation of God and the destruction of His enemies.


This is the acronym for the Vilna Gaon. He differs from Rashi on the definitions of many of the terms in these prayers.

Job 31:23. Rashi explains that Job had such clarity of reward and punishment, as if it were right in front of him, despite the injustice of his suffering, that he was filled with Yiras Haromimus, awe of God’s exaltedness. See Ralbag and Metzudas David who agree with Rashi.

Gra; Habakkuk 1:7 based on Mechilta on the Song of the Sea. He must have had a different text than we do. He may have based this on an original reading of a Sifra; Bechukotai, Chapter 7.

Avnei Eliyahu

Isaiah 5:12

Psalms 8:4

Gra; Genesis 1:1; This is his explanation of the blessings; “Borei pri ha’adama, ha’eitz, minei mezonot.” All these blessings refer to what exists not the action of creation.

Rabbi Chaim Volozhin in the name of his rebbi, the Gra, quoted in Siach Yitzchak.

Ba’er Avraham 89:14 in the name of his father, the Gra.

Avot 4:1 “Who is strong? Someone who conquers his responses.”

Gra, TB Yoma 69a

Proverbs 13:12

Gra, Commentary on Proverbs 10:20

Targum Onkelos; Genesis 2:7

Ba’er Avraham 51:17

Gra; Commentary on Esther 8:16

TB Sanhedrin 98b

Imrei Noam TB Berachot 29a

Isaiah 61:11

Gra; Commentary on the Siddur; “Et Tzemach David”

Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin; Ruach Chaim, Avot 6:1

Gra, Commentary on Proverbs 23:24

Ibid. Commentary on Job 3:21

Proverbs 1:5

Daniel 2:21

Gra, Commentary on Proverbs 3:22 and Job 1:1

Ibid. Proverbs 2:14, 23:24; Habakkuk 1:15, Job 3:21; Chronicles 1 16:31

Ibid. Proverbs 3:22; Job 1:1

Proverbs 2:7; See Commentary of Gra.

Related to Ya’alotz, exult.

Proverbs 11:10

Gra, Commentary on the Siddur; “Al Hatzaddikim”

Samuel 1 2:9

Psalms 97:10

Zohar Volume 1 229b; Vol.3 32a

Gra, Commentary on Proverbs 11:10

As it will be when Moshiach blows his shofar.

Job 5:16

Ibid. Commentary of Gra

As it was at Mt. Sinai.

Psalms 37:20

Jeremiah 12:1

Ba’er Avraham 37:2 in the name of his father, the Gra.

Shofar of Mt. Sinai and Moshiach

Gra; Commentary on the Siddur: “V’Lamalshinim”

See 94

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