photo-4translated by Cantor Jordan S Franzel


Be strengthened like a lion to stand in the morning for the service of your Creator that one should be ‘waking the dawn.’ “I have set YHVH – The Eternal One before me always” (Psalm 16:8) is a great statement in the Scriptures.  (Shulchan Aruch)

The Rabbis say that when an Adam (אדם – human) begins to search himself and perceives that he is very distant from the Blessed Name (God) and he is full of misguided deeds and is very damaged, and it appears to him as if he were far from good, then he would need to seek and request to find within himself any good, for how is it possible that God did not make any good in him?  And even if he sees that there is little good, as if God made him full of deficiencies and mixed in with much waste. Even if this is so, it is impossible that there is not in him any point of goodness, one way or the other. And thus he should seek and find in himself a little more good, even the good that is mixed in with much waste. Even if this is so, in any event, there is in him some point of good. And thus he should seek and find in himself a little more (עוד – od) good. By means of this he should judge himself favorably and still find a point of goodness within himself even though whatever happened in the past happened and with the mistakes that were made, with this attitude he truthfully is brought out from disfavor to favor, and by means of this he can merit to turn back to positive actions.

And all this is related to the verse;  “V’od m’at v’eiyn Rasha – a little more and the wicked man is not here,” (Psalms 37)  By means of this little more, one removes negativity,  “V’hitbonanta al m’komo v’eiynenu – you shall look at his place and he is not there.”  By means of this one can rejoice in themselves. Then one can pray since this is in the spirit of “אזמרה לאלהי בעודי – Azamrah leilohaiy b’odiy – I shall sing to the Lord as long as I exist [literally: with my more.]” (Psalms 146:2) By means of the ‘od m’at – the little more’ one finds within themselves one can sing to and thank God.  This is how melodies are made, for melodies are made from clarifying “good spirit” from the “lesser/injured spirit.” And this is “Azamrah – I will sing,” certainly, in the aspect of melodies.

And thus one needs to judge others favorably, even with a completely negative person, one needs to search and find within him any point of good.  And someone who can do this, to find a point of goodness even in the transgressors of Israel, she can be a Chazzan and pray before the amud (lecturn). And know that everyone up to the ‘Tzadik of the generation’ is a builder of the Mishkan – sanctuary. And this Tzadik that can collect the good that is found in everyone, she knows all the details in the matter of the sanctuaries that the righteous build.

This is characteristic of waking from sleep, for when people see that they are distant from the Blessed Name, this is like sleep, which is one-sixtieth of death.  (TalmudB’rachot 57) When they search, request, and find in themselves any more good points, they give life to and rejoice in themselves and awaken to the service of the Blessed Name by means of this. This is the awakening from sleep. And this is related to the verse “O Lord, how many have my adversaries (Tzaraiy) become? Many rise up against me.”  (Psalms 3:2) The adversaries of the soul are the misdeeds and imperfections of everyone, the foundation for all the problems of people. When they overpower a person, they want to cause him to completely fall, as if he had no more hope.  This is what is meant by, “the many say to my soul, ‘he has no salvation in God.” (Psalms 3:3) And then he is in sleep as in, “I lay down and slept,”  for this is the aspect of sleep.  But in truth, the human is heavily discouraged not to despair in herself and needs to overcome to awake from sleep by means of the little more good that she still finds in herself. And thus, “I awoke, for YHVH – The Eternal One will support me,” (Psalms 3:6)  meaning that I overcome and awaken from my sleep, for I don’t despair over myself still for “YHVH will support me.”

The point of goodness that a human finds in themselves is the aspect of divinity, so to speak, for all good is from the Blessed One. For the Torah, Israel, and the Blessed Holy One are all one. (Zohar: Parashat Acharei 73) It is found that when there is a point of goodness in Israel, that is any mitzvah or good deed, this good is completely unified with the Blessed One, for YHVH – The Eternal One is good to all (Psalms 145). And as it is written, “taste and see that YHVH is good,” (Psalms 34) for all the good found in every place is from the Blessed One. “For YHVH will support me”, that is, the good point that I find in me is the aspect of divinity, the aspect of YHVH is good to all, this is, “He supports me and wakes me up from sleep.”

And then, “I will not fear the myriads of people, who have set themselves against me all around.” (Psalms 3:7)  For again, I will not fear from them even though they are the many thousand defects and transgressions that stand against me. Since I [have the ability to] find in myself another point of good, by means of this I am awakened from sleep. In truth, I enter into being judged favorably, and by means of this I will merit repentance. For all the negativity is rejected because of the little good you find in yourself. This gives life and elevates you. For a little bit of light displaces a lot of darkness, as is known. “I awake – הקיצתי – hekiytzotiy, and I am still with You – v’odiy imach.” (Psalms 139:18)  And by means of my ‘od m’at – little more,’ the point of goodness, referred to in the verse,“Azamrah leilohaiy b’odiy,“  v’odiy imach – my little more is with me and hekiytzotiy – I am awakened. This is the aspect of hit’or’rut – awakening the sleep.