Friday, July 8, 2011

Balak: Miracles of Speech

I heard this today in the name of my Rebbi, Rav Rudderman.

On the passuk that says that Hashem opened the mouth of the donkey and it was able to speak- ויפתח השם את פי האתון- the Sforno here says that this is similar to  השם שפתי תפתח, the request we make before Shmoneh Esrai that Hashem open our mouths so we can pray to Him.

Rav Rudderman said that it is not correct to think of the human power of speech as adequate for the level of tefilla required to stand before the Ribono shel Olam and praise Him.  Shmoneh Esrai requires a nes nigleh.  Our ability to directly address the Ribono shel Olam is no less of a miracle than that of a donkey being given the means to communicate with a human being.

We all know Reb Chaim's idea of Omeid Lifnei Hamelech.  Rav Rudderman's pshat in the Sforno should also give us a moment's pause as we begin Shmoneh Esrei.

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