Thursday, April 26, 2012


Erev Shabbos Kodesh Parshios Tazria-MetzoraPirkei Avos – perek 2
5 Iyar 5772/April 27, 2012

The month of Nissan has come and gone ushering in the month of Iyar. Chazal refer to the month of Iyar as Chodesh Ziv – the month of splendor. By now, spring is in full bloom, and the stunning multihued colors of the leaves add resplendent personality to the resuscitated world in its full splendor.
The conclusion of the month of Nissan also means that we resume saying tachanun each morning after Shemoneh Esrei. That means the chazzan can breathe a sigh of relief. You see, whenever tachanun is omitted the chazzan has the arduous challenge of ending his recitation of Shemoneh Esrei and starting kaddish in under six tenths of a second. He also has to figure out how to say the verse Yehiyu l’ratzon in an undertone during that time. If he is unsuccessful in doing so he will be virtually attacked by a barrage of bellows of ‘Yisgadal’Kaddish’ and the banal ‘nu nu’ from all sides of the shul. The idea being that if tachanun need not be said, we need to ensure that it indeed is not said!
I was once attending a b’ris which was taking place on a day when tachanun was universally not recited. Someone suggested that since we weren’t saying tachanun that morning anyway, we should skip Ashrei and Uva L’tzion because of the b’ris.
It would bode us well to understand the words of tachanun in an effort to appreciate this poignant supplication which is considered an extension of Shemoneh Esrei. In it we verbalize our complete subjugation and reliance on G-d, and passionately pray that G-d protect the remnants of our people, because we have no one and no where to turn besides G-d. In our versatile world that is surely a prayer we should recite with fervor and passion.
The same can be said regarding the four Yehi Ratzons recited after laining on Monday and Thursday. We pray for the return of the Shechinah, the preservation of our leaders, that we be spared of disasters and catastrophe, and that we merit hearing good tidings and good occasions. [During the Holocaust, Rabbi Breuer zt’l implemented that in K’hal Adath Jeshurun these prayers would be recited daily]. Is it not a shame that such profound prayers are often recited as if the chazzan is competing in a verbal speed-marathon?
Surely we should not recite tachanun during those days when the Shulchan Aruch exempts us from reciting it. Still-in-all, if we truly understood the value and significance of the prayer we might not be so overly-passionate about rushing the chazzan to begin kaddish.

              Shabbat Shalom & Good Shabbos,
                R’ Dani and Chani Staum