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The Essence Of Our Being

The first mishna in Bava Kamma calls a human being "mahveh" which means one who davens, a "davener". The essence of man [and woman] is that he is one who prays. In fact, the mekubalim teach that our neshamos are constantly davening [see Rav Kook's essay "Haneshama Tamid Mitpalelet"].

Hebrew letters may be spelled out. If we take the word "Adam" [man] Aleph, Dalet, Mem, and spell out each letter we will find something fascinating. "Aleph" is spelled aleph, lamed, pheyh. What is the pnimius, the depth, the hidden part of the aleph? Lamed, pheyh [the aleph doesn't count because it is visible]. Next. Dalet is spelled dalet, lamed, tuf. The pnimius, the depth of the dalet is lamed, tuf. The last letter is mem which is spelled mem, mem. What is the hidden part? Mem.

If we take the hidden part of Adam we get lamed, pheyh, lamed, tuf, mem. That spells "Mitpalel" [Daven]. Yes indeed, the pnimius of man, the deepest part of man, is prayer. That is who we are. Now we just have to learn how to do it.... It is NOT easy!

Pil'ei Pla'os - Wonder of wonders!

See Rav Volbe's beautiful comments on this idea and on the Gemara in Babba Kamma at the beginning of his sefer, Alei Shur chelek 2.

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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