The Farthest, the Closest
צילום: פלאש90

Isn’t it so, that precisely when you feel most alone and far away, that you feel the closest and the most beloved? There is a special, unique verse that appears in this week’s Portion, and speaks about the weakest people in society: “אִם עַנֵּה תְעַנֶּה אֹתוֹ, כִּי אִם צָעֹק יִצְעַק אֵלַי – שָׁמֹעַ אֶשְׁמַע צַעֲקָתוֹ” (“If thou afflict them in any way, for if they cry at all unto Me, I will surely hear their cry”). In the Hebrew original, all the verbs appear here twice: ענה תענה, צעוק יצעק, שמוע אשמע. What is the reason for this style?

The reader Lee Pele-Zinger from Nes-Ziona sent me the following commentary:

“I looked at the verse, and the repetition of these verbs again and again reminded me of a person who stands in an empty room and shouts. When he shouts – there is an echo which ‘replies’ and repeats his words: ‘ענה תענה, צעוק יצעק, שמוע אשמע’… When the orphan, the stranger, the widow and the poor person feel emptiness in their heart – their shout echos. It reverberates. Every person feels alone sometimes, and precisely at that time, such a reverberation, such an echo is formed, because precisely when we feel the loneliest, the verse promises us that Someone is with us, listening and hearing, especially in times of distress, precisely in moments in which it is the most difficult for us.”
Shabbat Shalom!

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סיון רהב-מאיר

Sivan Rahav-Meir is a media personality and lecturer. Married to Yedidya, the mother of five. Lives in Jerusalem. She works for Israel TV news, writes a column for Yediot Aharonot newspaper, and hosts a weekly radio show on Galei Zahal (Army Radio). Her lectures on the weekly Torah portion are attended by hundreds and the live broadcast attracts thousands more listeners throughout the world.
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