I implored Hashem at that time, saying, My Lord, Hashem/Elokim you have begun to show Your servant.

This verse alludes to the fact that man‘s primary goal in avodas Hashem (Divine service) is to serve Hashem perfectly on the last day of his life the day of his petirah. Rebbe Menachem Mendel of Rimanov zy‘a once said that man‘s greatest battle against the yetzer is on his final day. On his last day in Olam Hazeh a person is totally confused and needs much rachamim that he should not be, chas vesholom, confounded with spurious beliefs and ideas. “When his spirit departs he returns to his earth, on that day his plans all perish“ (Tehillim 146:4)—see Shevet Mussar, ch. 26. For that reason, as long as a person lives he must constantly intensify his struggle against the vicious and tireless enemy called the yetzer hora. How does he do this? He should engross himself in Torah study, improve his davening, refine his character traits, and be truly G-d-fearing.

“Strength and majesty are her raiment, and she joyfully awaits the last day. She opens her mouth with wisdom and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue“ (Mishlei 31:25-26). The best protection for one‘s last day on earth is for one‘s mouth to be always “open with wisdom.“ What is the wisdom referred to in this verse? It is yiras Shomayim, as Dovid HaMelech teaches us in Tehillim (111:10), “The beginning of wisdom is fear of Hashem.“ A life of true yiras Shomayim protects someone even when confusion engulfs him. In addition, through being engaged in Torah study during his life he is fulfilling, “the teaching of kindness is on her tongue,“ and that Torah study will protect him on the day he is called back to Shomayim.

A Jew must beseech Hashem that before he departs from this world he should not be overwhelmed by the Sitra Achra, and that all his final thoughts and speech be purely motivated only for the sake of Hashem. With these thoughts he will leave this mundane world and enter an everlasting one (see Shevet Mussar, ibid., who composed a special Tefillah for that purpose).

“I implored Hashem at that time“—“at that time“ is ambiguous, not clearly indicating what day the verse is referring to. It can be interpreted as alluding to the day concealed from all mortals—the day of death. A person must therefore always pray, “saying, My Lord, Hashem Elokim“—that all his spoken words be only for the sake of Hashem, and in that way he will be zocheh to Olam Habo.

{Ma‘adanei Melech]



From there you will seek Hashem, your G-d, and you will find Him.“

From there, you will be able to search for Hashem, from the depths of your heart and find Him there, if only you will seek Him diligently.

[Rebbe Yaakov Yitzchok of Peshischa]


You shall hearken 0 Israel, and beware to perform, so that it will be good for you, so that you will increase very much, as Hashem, the God of your forefathers, spoke for you, a land flowing with milk and honey.

Should the pasuk not read “in a land flowing with milk and honey“? The pasuk is teaching us that the prosperity of the Promised Land, whether it will indeed be a “land of milk and honey“, is dependent entirely on the conduct of the Jewish people. Only if they will live in accordance with the Laws of the Torah will their land be blessed and fertile.

Therefore the Torah says: “You shall hearken 0 Israel, and beware to perform, so that it will be good for you,…as Hashem, the God of your forefathers, spoke for you, a land flowing with milk and honey.“

If you will do it, the land will be a land flowing with milk and honey, but if you will not keep the commandments of Hashem, it will not be so.

[Meshech Chochmah]