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04/21/2022 03:15:09 PM


Every day of pesah we recite hallel, which consists of psalms chapters 113_118.

We are all familiar with the line "meqimi me'afar dal, me'ashpot yarim 'evyon," which describes that HaShem (a) raises the poor person from the dust; and (b) raises the poor person from the garbage heap.

You might ask, why does the poet repeat the idea of part (a) in part (b)?

Let's present 3 approaches:

1] The approach of the great medieval biblical commentator Rabbi David Qimhi (known as the Radaq,) who often points out that the Tanakh frequently uses parallel constructions to enhance the poetic quality. 

2) the medieval Italian Jewish commentator Ovadiah Seforno suggested that the psalmist is alluding to the time of galut, when even a rich man will be limited by circumstances and will not be able to be certified in his profession. (King David himself experienced galut. If you read the Book of Samuel, you will see how David was on the run, hiding from King Saul.)

3) The Vilna Gaon, as always, presented a brilliant comment. He said that the word "dal" in the first half of the verse means indeed "a poor man." But the word "evyon" in the 2nd half could refer to someone who might be a person of means, but he is desirous of more. (I was reminded the people who had "ta'avah" in chapter 11 of Sefer BaMIdbar.

HaShem had taken them out of Egyptian slavery and had split the Sea, and was taking care of their needs in the desert, as we said in "dayeinu:" "sippeq tsorkheinu baMidbar 40 shanah."

And yet the people complained and complained. They had a"ta'avah," (from the same root as "'evyon,") for all the foods that they had eaten as slaves in Egypt.

According to this third approach, the time will come when even the "'evyon," the person who has everything but is desirous of more will appreciate Hashem's goodness.

May we all have a good end of Pesach, and may you merit many good and pleasant and healthy years.

Mon, June 27 2022 28 Sivan 5782