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Elul 5: Heart

by Hillel News |Aug 20, 2015|Comments

First Blast: Text

אִם-תַּחֲנֶה עָלַי מַחֲנֶה לֹא-יִירָא לִבִּי

Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear

 

Second Blast: Commentary

Why does this verse specifically mention the heart? Radak, a medieval commentator, notes that even in the military-style situation of the few against the many described in the verse, the speaker’s heart will not fear, because his heart causes him to trust in God. The heart, the seat of the intellect and emotions in Biblical imagination, could cause panic and fear in such an overwhelming situation. But the speaker’s heart leads him to trust, instead of fear.

 

Third Blast: Practice

At several points during the High Holiday prayers, it is traditional to knock on our chests near the heart as we acknowledge our shortcomings in the previous year. Take a moment today to close your eyes and knock on your heart, intending that the heart will open itself to the possibilities of a new year and face them without fear.


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