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Note:  We provide the following note from an expert reader on proper pronunciation in this Bracha:  “It is V’Li.rushalayim And NOT V’LiYerushalaim”.]  Although the whole world and every part of it belongs to Hashem, we specifically call Yerushalayim Ircha.  With this, we place preeminence not on where we want to be, but rather where it is that the Shechina wants to uniquely reside in.  We thus importantly demonstrate that it is the Tza’ar HaShechina that is a primary concern for us.  Accordingly, even if we are undeserving, and even if it may be “better for us” if Hashem would wait for us to be deserving on our own --we nevertheless ask Hashem to return with His Mercy now so that the Shechina will finally come to its eternal resting place.  It is certainly no coincidence (as it never is!) that our Program comes to this Bracha two weeks after Tisha B’Av, at a time when Yerushalayim could be fading a bit from our minds.  This reminds us not to let it happen--we must keep Yerushalayim in the forefront every day of the year.  We must remember that Yerushalayim is not just a city, a center, or geographic location on a map or globe.  We had recently published the penetrating words of Rav Schwab, Z’tl, and we bring them again here below--so that any time we say the word Yerushalayim we note and if possible momentarily reflect upon its unparalleled and wondrous nature.  HaRav Schwab, Z’tl, asks why the bracha of “V’Lirushalayim Ircha” begins with a Vav (“And”).  What is the meaning of “And” here--to what is the beginning of the bracha connecting?  HaRav Schwab suggests that the Vav alludes to the Yerushalayim Shel Ma’alah, where thousands, and perhaps millions, of Tzadikim who hoped and prayed for the rebuilding of Yerushalayim over the past 2,000 years now reside.  When the time comes for Yerushalayim to be rebuilt, these neshamos will experience it B’shamayim together with the people who are physically experiencing the rebuilding here on earth.  Moreover, although we do not really understand what it means at this time, Chazal teach that Hashem will return to the Yerushalayim Shel Ma’alah only after He has returned to the Yerushalayim Shel Matah, for He has been “absent” from the Yerushalayim Shel Ma’alah since the Churban, as well.  We are thus mispallel for Hashem to return to both cities of Yerushalayim (from the monumental work HaRav Schwab on Prayer published by Artscroll).



Chazal (Megillah 17B) teach that the bracha for rebuilding Yerushalayim was placed by the Anshei Knesses HaGedolah after Al HaTzadikim because it is in Yerushalayim where the Tzaddikim will reach their epitome, as the Posuk declares (Tehillim 122:6) Sha’alu Shelom Yerushalayim Yeshlayu O’Havayich.  Simply stated, the glory of the Tzadikim will not be revealed until they return to Yerushalayim upon its redemption.  It is important to note that it is not only the Bais HaMikdash that we seek, but the building of the entire city.  In his introduction to Tehillim Chapter 122 (Artscroll Tanach Series), Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Feuer, Shlita, provides the following great insight into what Yerushalayim should mean to every individual: 


“This Perek describes the glory of Yerushalayim of old.  As a city, it was different from all others.  Generally, cities are no more than clusters of buildings where masses of people settle together for the sake of security or commercial convenience.  As the urban multitude increases, the significance and value of the individual decreases.  As the individual grows ever more dependent upon the services and the society of the masses, his personal stature is diminished, for his own worth and personal ability has less effect in society.  This situation breeds friction and animosity in the metropolis and polarizes its citizens.  This was not the case in Yerushalayim.  There, every Jew experienced a personal encounter with Hashem.  This encounter was a dramatic revelation which demonstrated to each and every man the special, divine nature of his soul.  The crowds of Olei Regel which converged upon the city enhanced this realization of individuality and did not detract from it at all.  For, just as no two faces are alike, no two minds are alike (Berachos 58a).  Every additional pilgrim who arrived in the city gave further evidence to the diversity and uniqueness of Hashem’s creatures.  Thus, the proliferation of the masses heightened the individual’s self esteem and lifted his spirits.  This fostered brotherhood and unity in Yerushalayim, which came to be known as the city of peace, the city that is united together.”


Hakhel Note:  May we be zoche to feel the elevation as Olei Regel speedily and in our days.  An essential way for us to get there is by davening for it in this bracha!  



In the Bracha, we first ask that Hashem bring his Shechinah back to Yerushalayim.  Only then, do we continue with the next step of our plea--U’Vnei Osah BiKarov BiYameinu Binyan Olam. With these words, we ask that it be Hashem Himself who rebuilds Yerushalayim--so that it stand permanently (unlike the first and second Bais Hamikdash eras, when human were involved in the building and which were only temporary).  Fascinatingly, HaRav Chaim Friedlander, Z’tl, points to the words in Nacheim --Ki Atta Hashem BaAish Hitzata U’VaAish Atta Asid Levnosa…Hashem You destroyed it in fire and with fire You will build it, as well.  We don’t know very well how to build a city with fire--Hashem does.  The Ramchal actually explains that there is a deeper concept that lies here as well:  It is not only that there will be a Yerushalayim above and a Yerushalayim below, but that the new ‘rebuilding’ will include Ruchniyus from above coming down to connect to the Ruchniyus below.  Thus, although there will be a semblance of physical walls around, the Ruchniyus of the heavens above will actually have a place in this world.  We then specifically ask that this incomparable and eternal rebuilding occur B’Karov B’Yameinu.  HaRav Friedlander notes that there are two concepts here.  First, we would like it to happen B’Karov--in the immediate future. Even, however, if it does not occur this hour or this day, we still plea that it happen B’Yameinu--in our days while in Olam Hazeh! 



Chazal (Bereishis Rabba 59:8) teach “Yerushalayim Oro Shel Olam U’Mi Hu Oro Shel Yerushalayim--Hakasdosh Baruch Hu--Yerushalayim is the light of the world and Hashem Himself is the light of Yerushalayim.”  When reciting the bracha of Binyan Yerushalayim we should perhaps envision a great light--which is not only the light of Yerushalayim--but that, keveyachol, of Hashem Himself!  Envision the great and infinite shine!  If we are not such great ‘visionaries’, we can remember the words of the Avos to Rebbe Nosson that ‘Yerushalayim Nikreis Chaim--Yerushalayim is called life itself!’  With this in mind, we move to the last portion of the Bracha, which at first glance may seem out of place.  After davening for the return of the Shechina and for Yerushalayim’s rebuilding, we ask that Kisei Dovid Meheirah Lesocah Tachin--that the throne of Dovid HaMelech should be speedily reestablished there.  One would think that these words would be found in the next bracha of Es Tzemach Dovid--which refers to the reestablishment of the Malchus Bais Dovid.  The Bach ( to Tur Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 118) records that he was actually asked this Shailah and explains that the re-establishment of Dovid’s throne is very much part of the Bracha over Yerushalayim.  In fact, these words are and should be the concluding words of the Bracha--because Yerushalayim’s rebuilding would be incomplete without the Moshiach and the Malchus Bais Dovid reestablished.  We are not looking for our own capital city, or even an international capital of the world.  We are looking for the City of Hashem to be the place from which the Malchus Bais Dovid brings, maintains, and propagates the Malchus Hashem on His Nation, and on the world.  Yerushalayim will not be a physical city of skyscrapers, housing tens of millions, but will be the seat of Ruchniyus given to us by Hashem, as transmitted by the Malchus Bais Dovid.  In a very positive way we should almost ‘get the chills’ from the wondrous and wonderful message and meaning of this bracha--let us pray that it is filled in its entirety very soon!



The bracha of Bonei Yerushalayim is of course, very close to the bracha in Bentching of Bonei B’Rachamav Yerushalayim.  Both brachos are obviously based on the Pasuk (Tehillim 147:2) which we recite daily in Pesukei DeZimra: Bonei Yerushalayim Hashem Nidchei Yisroel Yechaneis.  HaRav Chaim Friedlander, Z’tl, notes that there are those who suggest that perhaps this Pasuk has already been fulfilled in our day--as one looks around Yerushalayim.  He notes, however, that Yerushalayim during the time of the Shalosh Regalim had millions of Jews whose focus was on the Bais HaMikdash.  Today, so many of the batei avodah zara and tifla are disproportionately located in and around the city, with all the bells and noises associated with them.  Moreover, on the streets themselves it is difficult to walk in various areas because of the pritzus of the uninitiated.  On top of it all, our enemies freely trample over the Makom HaMikdash, even claiming rulership over it--and destroying and unearthing the Makom even further.  So what, then, is the Bonei Yerushalayim of our day?  As we have noted in the past, the rebuilding of Yerushalayim is a process that began at the time of its destruction, and it is proceeding in detailed stages which will be clear to us when the building is finally complete.  HaRav Friedlander gives the Mashal of a contractor building a huge building.  First, he must bring initial equipment and supplies--for without them you cannot work.  Every stage of the building process requires new equipment and new supplies.  Every generation is a new stage in the ongoing process of Bonei Yerushalayim.  Let us daven in this bracha that our Mitzvos and Ma’asim Tovim bring us to the stage of the last shipment of supplies--and the building’s so long for and awaited Eternal Opening!


---------------------------------------------  SECOND SET  -------------------------- ------------------------------------


Rebbi Yonasan Eibishitz, Z’tl, writes in the Sefer Ya’aros Devash that Yerushalayim is called a Kisei Hashem, and poignantly asks:  “If the Malochim above call out with cries and lamentations day and night over the Churban Yerushalayim, if the Malochim of the heavens are Aveilei Tzion, then how could we be silent and not cry over the Chillul Hashem of Churban Yerushalayim and the current loss of Malchus Bais Dovid?!”  We begin with the phrase:  V’lirushalayim Ircha B’Rachamim Tashuv--and to Yerushalayim Your City return with mercy.”  HaRav Chaim Friedlander, Z’tl, teaches that we emphasize that we are not asking for Hashem’s return to His City for our sake--but rather we are asking for Hashem to return for His Sake--because it is His City.  We know that as a result of His return anyone who travels there will be enveloped by its Kedusha and will be raised greatly in his level of Yiras Shomayim (see Bava Basra 21A, Tosfos d’h Ki MiTzion).  By specifically asking Hashem that He return with mercy, we are asking for His Midas HaRachamim to overtake and overcome His Midas HaDin.  After all, Yerushalayim has sunk from being the loftiest city on earth to a place beset by tumah and tumos of all kinds--Wo unto some of what our eyes must behold in contemporary Yerushalayim!  Finally, when we daven for Yerushalayim, we notice there the bracha begins with a ‘Vav’.  Some explain that is because we are davening not only for the Yerushalayim here in this world, but also for the Yerushalayim Shel Ma’alah, which is inextricably bound with the Yerushalayim that we see.




We continue with the phrase VeSishkon Besocha Ka’asher Dibarta--and dwell in Yerushalayim as You had said.  The Avnei Eliyahu notes that the phrase following this one --U’vnei Osah--refers to the building of Yerushalayim, and pointedly asks--aren’t things out of order, should not that request come first--once Yerushalayim is built, then and only then will the Shechina be able to dwell there?! One suggested answer is that Hashem in fact dwells in Yerushalayim right now--what we are davening for with the words VeSishkon Besocha is that this remains the case until the Binyan Yerushalayim--for we know that we can take nothing for granted--and if we have been undeserving to have Yerushalayim rebuilt until this point, then c’v maybe we could lose our zechus to the Shechina. (We had ‘a taste’ of this bitter pill when we were forced to be distanced from the Shechina at the Kosel from 1948-1967.) This being the case, to what Pasuk are we referring to with the term Ka’asher Dibarta--as You had said?  Based upon the foregoing thought, writes Rebbi Avraham Ben Hag’ra, the Pasuk  is Vehashimosi Es Mikdosheichem--I will make desolate your sanctuaries (Vayikra 26:31), which Chazal explain teaches us that we will still have sanctuaries--the Shechina among us in some form --even after the Bais HaMikdash is destroyed.  Indeed, explains HaRav Chaim Friedlander, Z’tl, we must realize that the reason we cannot enter the Makom HaMikdash today is because of the Kedushas HaShechina which still rests there.  Obviously, with a rebuilt Yerushalayim the Kedushas HaShechina at the same spot will grow in ways we cannot imagine.  The Avudraham accordingly writes that we blend the phrase VeSishkon Besocha together with the next phrase of U’Vnei osah--the rebuilding of  Yerushalayim--so that Ka’asher Dibarta refers to the future Yerushalayim--Veshachanti Besoch Yerushalayim (Zecharia 8:3).  To bring the thoughts together--in this one phrase of VeSishkon Besocha Ka’asher Dibarta --we are davening for the Shechina to stay with us no matter what and that the Kosel remain the Kosel for us--and that we soon come to the day that we can feel and appreciate the Shechina in levels of Kedusha never before experienced!




We continue with the next phrase:  U’vnei Osah BeKarov BiMeheirah BeYameinu Binyan Olam--may You rebuild it soon in our days as an everlasting structure.”  Chazal teach that the Third Bais HaMikdash will descend from the Heavens complete, and when the Beis HaMikdash so descends the wall of Yerushalayim will then be built around it as well.  HaRav Chaim Friedlander, Z’tl, brings the Ramchal, who provides us with great spiritual insight into this:  “What will happen is that the Beis HaMikdash Shel Ma’aleh will spread itself out until it reaches the earth--it will not be uprooted, but will spread downward, and when it reaches its place here a physical wall will be built around it--and the two buildings--the physical wall of this world with the spiritual building which has descended will merge together as one.  Thus, while there will be a physical Beis HaMikdash on the outside--the internal, spiritual Beis HaMikdash will be built as never before.  There will no longer be a Beis HaMikdash above which is parallel to, and directly above, the Beis HaMikdash below--it will all be one!  The actual city of Yerushalayim itself will be rebuilt by Hashem for eternity together with the Beis HaMikdash.  Because neither Yerushalayim nor the Beis HaMikdash will be built by human hands--but by Hashem Himself, no future destruction will be possible--as Hashem’s construction is per se eternal.  The work of our hands is dependent on our deeds; the work of Hashem’s ‘hands’ are not.  Especially Important: We note that there are only two occasions in Shemone Esrei where we ask that Hashem do something “BiMeheirah BeYameinu--quickly and in our time”--and this is one of them.  Let us especially focus on these words, as we ask Hashem for the culmination of the hopes of millions of Jews over more than nineteen centuries.  It really can be in our time--and perhaps with just a little bit more Kavannah on our part--it will be BiMeheirah BeYameinu. 




We continue with the next phrase:  V’Chisei Dovid Meheirah LeSocha Tachin--and may You speedily establish the throne of Dovid within it.”  Many ask:  Why do we mention Dovid HaMelech here in the bracha of Yerushalayim--when the entire next bracha of Es Tzemach Dovid is especially and specifically devoted to the reestablishment of the Malchus Beis Dovid?!  The Bach (to Tur Orach Chaim 118) answers that in our Bracha we are asking that Yerushalayim be rebuilt--with the end goal that the throne of Dovid HaMelech be reestablished there--for that is Yerushalayim B’Sheleimusah--Yerushalayim in its true completeness.  Yerushalayim is the Ir Dovid--a place that Dovid HaMelech and his descendants through the Moshiach Tzidkeinu are to serve as the earthly rulers.  Why?  Because their kingship is unlike the rulership of other kings.  As Dovid HaMelech himself testifies (Brachos 4A!!), while the other kings were sleeping in the morning, he was busy answering Shailos for K’lal Yisrael and humbly submitting his rulings for review to his mentor, Mefiboshes. The king of K’lal Yisrael is really an Eved--an Eved Hashem who through his selfless actions brings the Shechina to rest upon us.  Thus, with our request for the Kisei Dovid to be reestablished, we are not asking for K’lal Yisrael to rule over the world--we are asking that through the Malchus Beis Dovid, Hashem’s presence in the world is felt to the must elevated extent possible.  Our request for the Kisei Dovid is a request for the Shechina in Yerushalayim B’Sheleimusah.  As we think of Yerushalayim, we are to think not only of beautiful, tall buildings, and awesome neighborhoods filled with the young and old alike--we must also think of the unparalleled spirituality of Yerushalayim--the Beis HaMikdash and the Kisei Dovid-bringing us-the Shechina --Yerushalayim B’Sheleimusah!




We conclude the Bracha with:  Boruch Atta Hashem Bonei Yerushalayim--the Builder of Yerushalayim.”  The Eitz Yosef points out that this is based on the Posuk that we recite daily in Pesukei D’Zimra--Bonei Yerushalayim Hashem Nidchei Yisrael Yichaneis (Tehillim 147:2).  The Dover Shalom, in turn explains that the Bracha is in the present tense because Yerushalayim is in the current process of rebuilding--as Golus is the initial stage of the Geulah, much in the way as the basement foundations are necessary for the tall building to stand.  Moreover, as we recite in Nacheim on Tisha B’Av, Hashem destroyed Yerushalayim with fire and will be rebuild it with fire.  How does Hashem ‘build with fire’?  The Dover Shalom explains that the fire He is rebuilding with is a spiritual one--created from our current actions--our Torah study, our fear of Heaven, and our Avodas Hashem!  With our proper actions in the here and now--we are now contributing to the everlasting flame of the Eternal City !



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