Week 3: Ana Bekoach
Day 19: Line 5
- We implore you, by the great power of Your right hand, release the captive.
- Accept the prayer of Your people; strengthen us, purify us, Awesome One.
- Mighty One, we beseech You, guard as the apple of the eye those who seek Your Oneness.
- Bless them, cleanse them; bestow upon them forever Your merciful righteousness.
- Powerful, Holy One, in Your abounding goodness, guide Your congregation.
- Only and Exalted One, turn to Your people who are mindful of Your holiness.
- Accept our supplication and hear our cry, You Who knows secret thoughts.
The seventh line relates back to the first line, asking to be heard.
MALCHUT – The concept of forty-two in the Bible and Torah literature often alludes to an opportunity to become more spiritually elevated, to return to what we were before the fall. This reflects the concept that, “the end is embedded in the beginning.”
INSIGHT ON 42
The Midrash connects the process of 42 stages to the ‘manna’ falling from above:
Midrash Rabbah, Exodus XXV:5 – The manna descended after [they had traveled] forty-two stages.
We find that 42 also associated with the building of the Beit haMikdash:
2Chronicles 1:18-2:1 Now Solomon purposed to build a house for the name of G-d, and a house for his kingdom. And Solomon counted out seventy thousand men to bear burdens, and eighty thousand men that were hewers in the mountains, and three thousand and six hundred to oversee them.
Note that king Shlomo appointed 3,600 men to oversee a total of 150,000 workers. If we take 150,000 and divide by 3,600, we arrive at 42 ‘workers’ for each ‘supervisor.’
Midrash Rabbah Ruth IV:6 – THEN BOAZ SAID TO HIS SERVANT THAT WAS SET OVER THE REAPERS (II,5). Over how many was he appointed? R. Eliezer, the son of Miriam, said: He was set over forty–two, as we see from the verse, And Solomon numbered all the strangers that were in the land of Israel… and he set three score and ten thousand of them to bear burdens, and fourscore thousands to be hewers in the mountains, and three thousand and six hundred overseers to set the people at work (II Chron. II, 16 f.). One who adopts this plan is able to go on, and knows what he is about.
Considering that “the temple of G-d is within us,” we oversee the 42 steps in our own life’s journey.