Wednesday, August 22, 2012

L'Hamtik haDaf by RPML: Brachos 21a

Rav Yehuda said, from where in the Torah (do we derive the obligation to recite) a blessing prior to (studying) the Torah? For it is written "When I call out the name of Hashem, ascribe greatness to our G-d." (Devorim 32:3)

Rashi says that the posuk constitues proof because Moshe says "when I call out the name of Hashem" as a blessing prior to reciting the rest of the Song of Hazinu (Torah), with the words "ascribe greatness to our G-d" as the response, the "amen" of the people.

The Maharsha approaches the posuk differently. On a mystical level the Torah is nothing but a composition of the different names of G-d. The posuk "when I call out the name of Hashem" is a reference to Torah. Where though is the preceding blessing? The Iyun Yaakov points us in the direction of the Sifri.

The Sifri on the posuk tells us that prior to saying the name of Hashem (i.e. the Torah according to the Maharsha) the angels say "kadosh, kadosh, kadosh," a preceding blessing. The twenty-one words in the Song of Hazinu which precede the word Hashem in our posuk, which the Sifri says are analagous to the three words of the angels (3x7) (I don't understand the significance of the 7) are thus the preceding blessing.

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