Read further below……… the word Uvchen real meaning!!

in order to draw our attention to Ester’s fears before approaching Ahashverosh, and to remind us that this is how we must feel as we stand in prayer before the King of kings.

The Rabbi Jacob S. Kassin Memorial Halacha Series
Authored by Rabbi Eli J. Mansour (9/28/2011)

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Dedicated Today In Memory Of Shlomo Tawachi Ben Emilia
by His Family in Panama

To dedicate Daily Halacha for a day please click here. Thank you.

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Description: The Depth of the High Holiday Liturgy

All the prayers of the Yamim Nora’im were established by the great Sages of the Ansheh Kenesset Ha’gedola (“Men of the Great Assembly”), and are thus laden with many levels of meaning.  We must strive to understand the simple, plain meaning of the text, but at the same time, it behooves us to recognize the innumerable allusions that these great Sages embedded within this liturgical text.  The more we are able to have these deep intentions in mind as we pray, the more powerful our prayers will be.

One example of the deep layers of meaning underlying the High Holiday liturgy is the seemingly innocuous word “U’bechen” (“And thus”).  The Zohar Ha’kadosh, in the Tikkunim, comments that this word should be recited four times in the Amida service on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  Indeed, we recite in the Amida four passages containing this word: “U’bechen Yitkadash Shimcha Hashem Elokenu,” “U’bechen Ten Pahdecha,” “U’bechen Ten Kabod,” and “U’bechen Sadikim Yir’u Ve’yismahu.”  The depth behind these four instances of the word “U’bechen” relates to a series of three verses in Parashat Beshalah (Shemot 14:19-21), which begin, respectively, with the words “Vayisa,” “Vayabo,” and “Vayet.”  Each of these three verses contains 72 letters, corresponding to the 72-letter Name of God, and the three verses are associated with the three patriarchs.  The word “U’bechen” has the numerical value of 72, and the first three instances of this word in our High Holiday Amida prayer correspond to the three patriarchs and these three verses in Parashat Beshalah.  The first “U’bechen” corresponds to Abraham Abinu and to the first of these three verses; the second refers to Yishak Abinu and the second verse; and the third alludes to Yaakob Abinu and the third verse.  The fourth time we mention “U’bechen” we allude to King David, who is the fourth “leg” of the Heavenly Chariot, and to the 72 combinations formed by taking one letter from each of these three verses, which all comprise holy Names of God.

It is remarkable to consider how much depth underlies the single word “U’bechen” which we recite in the Amida, and it is difficult for us to even imagine how much depth and profundity our Sages embedded within the text of the entire Yamim Nora’im prayer service!

On the simple level, the word “U’bechen” is intended to bring to mind the verse in Megilat Ester (4:16), “U’bechen Abo El Ha’melech Asher Lo Chadat” – “And thus I shall approach the king against royal protocol.”  Ester here expresses her fears about approaching Ahashverosh when she was not summoned – and this is precisely the fear we should experience as we stand before the Almighty in prayer.  We must feel wholly unworthy of approaching Him and asking Him to provide our needs.  Who are we to come before God?  What right do we have to make any requests of Him?  The term “U’bechen” is repeated four times in our Amida prayers in order to draw our attention to Ester’s fears before approaching Ahashverosh, and to remind us that this is how we must feel as we stand in prayer before the King of kings.  This sense of humility and unworthiness is a critical prerequisite to prayers.  The verse says in Tehillim (51:19), “Zibheh Elokim Ru’ah Nishbara Leb Nishbar Ve’nidke Elokim Lo Tibze” – “The [true] offerings to God are a broken spirit; God will not reject a broken, despondent heart.”  Hashem regards our humble sense of unworthiness as a sacrificial offering which He lovingly accepts and does not reject.

Our obligation is to try to understand the prayer text to the best of our ability, and, more basically, to have in mind that we pray in accordance with all the deep intentions of the Sages who composed these prayers, and we ask Hashem that He will then supplement whatever intentions we have with all the holy intentions of the Ansheh Kensset Ha’gedola, as the verse states (Tehillim 138:8), “Hashem Yigmor Ba’adi” – once we exert ourselves to the best of our potential, Hashem will then step in to complete the rest