Around the Shabbos Table – The Special Love of HaShem for Broken Hearts

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The Midrash interprets the verse, “Take an offering for Me,” to mean, “Take Me.” How is it possible to “take HaShem?” Who can claim that HaShem, the Creator of heaven and earth, is his?

Our sages tell us that if an ordinary person makes use of broken vessels, it is a disgrace for him. Whereas, the vessels used by HaShem are specifically broken ones, as per the verse, “The offerings of HaShem are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O G-d, You will not despise.”

Yet, why would we think that HaShem, Whose essence is mercy and compassion, would despise a brokenhearted person?

If a king were searching for an advisor, he would not consider a broken person who had the potential for greatness. The king would feel it was below his dignity to be involved with such a person. Rather, he would choose a person who is already wise, experienced, and efficient.

Whereas HaShem comes close to a brokenhearted person, who is inclined for righteousness, even before he attains worthiness. Why is this so? This is similar to the recycling of glass, i.e., the container must be broken in order to be formed anew. So too, HaShem loves a person who is ready and sincerely desires to devote himself to the path of Torah. As King Solomon said, “Love covers all blemishes.” That is, when a person loves Torah, even if he is broken and lowly, HaShem will be with him, heal him, comfort him, and make him whole – and holy.

The Chofetz Chaim said that after 2,000 years of exile, every Jew has a broken heart – to some degree. Therefore, “HaShem is ours.” Meaning, He is next to us and He desires us. He will purify and rectify our souls. He will surround us with light, joy, and peace – forever. [Based on Ohr RaShaz, The Alter of Kelm]

Today: Whenever you are in distress, remember that HaShem is close to you and will rescue you.

Copyright © 2010 by Rabbi Zvi Miller and the Salant Foundation

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