Thursday, April 16, 2015

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Early, Early Morning

​by Reb Gutman Locks  

Early, Early Morning


     Why is it that so many hundreds of religious Jews come to the Kotel so early in the morning to daven neitz? (praying at sunrise) A large number of us are there every morning hours before sunrise, learning, waiting for the minyans (quorums) to begin. Why do so many religious visitors to Jerusalem who never daven neitz at home make it a point to be at the Kotel every morning they are in Jerusalem to daven neitz?

    First; why neitz? The Rambam calls davening neitz the proper way, and all later davening as merely okay if you have to. That should be enough reason for everyone to make it a point to daven neitz, but modern society doesn't seem to fit so well with going to sleep early so you can wake up early to daven. Because of this, the vast majority of religious Jews are satisfied davening well after sunrise.

     But why is neitz the proper time? From noon until sundown we see that the sun goes down. Chassidus explains that the diminishing of light continues from noon until midnight. When light diminishes it is a time of Heavenly judgment. Then, from midnight until noon the light gets brighter and brighter. Brightening light is a sign of Heavenly kindness. Our prayers are more readily accepted in times of kindness, which is not so in times of judgment.

     Hashem is equally everywhere at all times. So why come to the Kotel to daven? The Kotel is the closest we can get to the Har HaBayit (the Temple Mount). Avraham Avinu called the Temple Mount the place where "Hashem will see", "The mount where Hashem will reveal Himself." Referring to the Mount Yaakov Avinu said, "G-d is in this place!" The Temple Mount is where the First and Second Temples stood and where very soon the Third Temple will stand. All of the prayers of Jews wherever we are in the world are said to first come to the Kotel and then they ascend to Heaven.

     Yes Hashem is everywhere and He sees everywhere at all times, but here by the Temple Mount He makes it easily for us to see, and for us to be seen by Him.




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