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Shabbat Parashat R'ei 5780

Parashat Hashavua: Arucha

Harav Yosef Carmel

This week we will be reciting Birkat Hachodesh for the upcoming month of Elul. One of the things that we ask to be given is “chayim arukim (long life). Actually, in some siddurim it reads “chayim aruchim.” This is not just a different grammatical opinion about how to verbalize long life, but it means something different. What is it that it means? 

In almost all Jewish communities, as Shabbat is about to enter, we sing Lecha Dodi, written by Rav Shlomo Alkabetz. A couple of passages are based on p’sukim in Yirmiyahu (30:16-18): “All who consume you will be consumed, and all your oppressors will all go into captivity. Those who attack you will be smitten (v’hayu limeshisa shosayich), and those who plunder you will be taken as spoils… for I will bring healing to you (ki a’aleh arucha lach) and from your wounds I will heal you (erpa’ech) … and the city will be built on its ruins…” We see from these p’sukim that arucha means to heal. Thus, chayim aruchim means life of health. With this under our belt, we can understand another section of Tanach as explained by Chazal.

After David was told that his brilliant advisor Achitofel was among the supporters of the rebellion of Avshalom, David did not break, but he turned in prayer to Hashem to cause Achitofel’s plan to fail. As part of Hashem’s mode of helping David, David was approached by Chushay Ha’arki, who volunteered to undermine Achitofel’s plan.

The midrash (Shocher Tov, Tehillim 3:3) cites various opinions about Chushay’s second name, Ha’arki. One opinion is that it means that he was an important officer in David’s court, as he is called a rei’ah of the king in Divrei Hayamim (I:27:33). Another opinion is that it means that he caused David’s dynasty to be firmly established, as Avshalom’s rebellion had put it in jeopardy. A third opinion is that Ha’arki refers to Chushay’s hometown. The Radak, following the latter approach, identifies a place called Arki in the region of the Tribe of the Sons of Yosef (Yehoshua 16:2).

Abarbanel brings a different midrash (Shocher Tov 55) – when David saw Chushay, he exclaimed: “There is arucha for my wound.” One can propose a similar approach – that it brought healing to the state of the kingdom after the great trauma of Avshalom’s rebellion. According to all explanations, Chushay certainly played a crucial role in extricating David from a dangerous situation. When an important officer lends a hand, it is a matter of healing. Even if Ha’arki just refers to a place, the fact that it was in the region of the Sons of Yosef, who are not the natural allies of the Tribe of Yehuda, also represents a great accomplishment that bodes well for the survival of the dynasty. (We will develop that point in the upcoming sefer, “Tzofnat Shmuel, the Kingdom of David.”)

Let us pray that we will continue to see with our own eyes the realization of the longings of the great tzaddikim of Tzefat, who, over 500 years ago, saw Hashem bringing arucha to the pain of our nation.
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Dedication

We daven for a complete and speedy refuah for:

Nir Rephael ben Rachel Bracha
Refael Yitchak ben Chana

Netanel Ilan ben Sheina Tzipora

Netanel ben Sarah Zehava

Meira bat Esther

Yair Menachem ben Yehudit Chana

Rivka Reena bat Gruna Natna

Lillian bat Fortune

Yafa bat Rachel Yente

Eliezer Yosef ben Chana Liba

Ro'i Moshe Elchanan ben Gina Devra

Esther Michal bat Gitel

Yehudit Sarah bat Rachel

 

Together with all cholei Yisrael

 

Hemdat Yamim is dedicated

to the memory of:

those who fell in wars

for our homeland

 

Eretz Hemdah's beloved friends

and Members of

Eretz Hemdah's Amutah

 

Rav Shlomo Merzel z”l
Iyar 10 5771

 

Rav Reuven Aberman z"l

Tishrei 9     5776

 

Mr. Shmuel Shemesh  z"l
Sivan 17 5774

 

R' Eliyahu Carmel z"l

Rav Carmel's father

Iyar 8    5776

 

Mrs. Sara Wengrowsky

bat R’ Moshe Zev a”h.

Tamuz 10       5774

 

Rav Asher Wasserteil z"l

Kislev 9   5769

 

R'  Meir ben

Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld z"l

&

Mrs. Sara Brachfeld z"l

Tevet 16 5780

 

R'  Yaakov ben Abraham & Aisha

and

Chana bat Yaish & Simcha

Sebbag, z"l

 

Rav Yisrael Rozen z"l
Cheshvan 13 5778

 

Rav Benzion Grossman z"l
Tamuz 23    5777

 

(Rav Moshe Zvi (Milton

Polin z"l

 5778 Tamuz 19       

 

R' Abraham Klein z"l

Iyar 18 5779

&

Mrs. Gita Klein z"l

4 Av

 

R' Yitchak Eizik z"l

ben Yehuda Leib Usdan

Av 29

 

Hemdat Yamim
is endowed by Les & Ethel Sutker
of Chicago, Illinois
in loving memory of
Max and Mary Sutker

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