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Shemoneh Esrei 64

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Shemoneh Esrei 64

 

יהיו לרצון אמרי פי והגיון לבי לפניך, ה' צורי וגאלי

May the expressions of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart find favor before You, Hashem, my Rock and my Redeemer.

 

After just completing the last brachah of Shemoneh Esrei, we now present a crucial plea to Hashem, which is actually a pasuk in T’hilim (19:15).  Some say it twice and some say it once.

This is the last pasuk in the 19th chapter of T’hilim, and originally it was the last pasuk of the 18th chapter, until the 19th brachah of Shemoneh Esrei was added.  Notice that it starts with a yud, ends with a yud, and has ten words.  These and more hidden aspects of this pasuk are discussed, but we will present the more revealed parts of the understanding of this pasuk.

Some explain that the intent of reciting this pasuk here is to ask Hashem that our words that we spoke in Shemoneh Esrei, though perhaps we did not have proper kavanah while saying some of them, be accepted b’ratzon, with favor [Alshich].  This is a tremendous opportunity at the end of Shemoneh Esrei to bring “back to life” those words on which we did not focus.

We also ask that the thoughts of our hearts be included, even though we did not verbalize them.

It is self-evident that this is one pasuk that we should make special efforts to be very focused on while reciting the words.  Imagine the “chutzpah” of saying these words and thinking about something else.  Imagine asking Hashem to find favor in our thoughts while we are thinking about breakfast or a business meeting?  In the Mishnah B’rurah, the Chofetz Chaim writes [122:8] that one should says this pasuk b’nachas, to be m’chavein, and that it helps a lot for his tefilos to be accepted and not be returned empty:

יאמר יהיו לרצון: כתב בסדר היום יהיו לרצון כו' הוא מסוגל לכמה ענינים. תחלתו יו"ד וסופו יו"ד, תבותיו יו"ד, ויו"ד יודי"ן, ויש בו מ"ב אותיות, וסודו סוד גדול. לכן צריך לאומרו בנחת ולכוין, ומועיל הרבה לקבל תפלתו ולא ישוב ריקם

Say Yihyu L’Ratzon: It is stated in the work Seder HaYom that the verse Yihyu L’Ratzon is of supernatural benefit for many matters.  It begins with the letter yud and ends with the letter yud, has ten words, ten yuds, and 42 letters.  Its inner essence is an outstanding inner essence.  In view of this, one must say it at leisure and with application.  It is of considerable avail as regards the acceptance of one’s prayer and that one should not return empty-handed.”

HaRav Yisroel Shlomo Goldfinger, in his sefer T’hilos Yisrael, presents a beautiful thought contrasting the start of Shemoneh Esrei where we begin with the pasuk “ה' שפתי–Hashem s’fasai...” to the conclusion of Shemoneh Esrei where we conclude with our pasuk “יהיו לרצון–Yihyu l’ratzon...”  Rav Goldfinger points out that we begin Shemoneh Esrei in a state of awe and fear, asking the “Master Over All” (The name of Hashem that used is “Adni”) to allow us to open our mouths and lips to praise and daven to Him.  Now, at the conclusion of Shemoneh Esrei, we refer to Hashem as “Tzuri v’Goali” – The same Hashem Who is the Creator and Master of the entire Universe is also my personal Creator, and I have a personal relationship of love with Him.  How did we get from awe and fear to love?  This is a direct result of having come closer to Hashem through Shemoneh Esrei.  Through praising Him, through making requests of Him wherein we indicate our bitachon that He and only He can grant us what we need and hope for, and through thanking Him, we have come closer to Him as a result of the process of tefilah.  This is why we now use the name of Hashem indicating rachamim, compassion.

May we be zocheh to have all of our tefilos accepted with compassion, love, and favor.

 

 

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