HaRav Yitzchok Koledetzky, following the directives of
HaRav Chaim Kanievsky and HaRav Yehuda Shapira, gave the
following words of chizuk at the renowned Lederman
beis knesses of Bnei Brak on Shabbos Isru Chag of
1] We are stunned by last year's numerous tragedies when
young men and women were niftar leaving behind widows
and orphans, Rachmono litzlan. Every incident of a
bereaved family shocks us to the core. There is today no
novi who can tell us why such calamities happen.
We should not despair. We must, as our forefathers have
always done in such incidents, be mispalel to Hashem
to arouse rachamei Shomayim and make efforts to add to
our zechuyos. Rachamei Shomayim to bring
refu'os and yeshu'os for am Yisroel are
aroused when each individual works to improve himself
spiritually in order to increase the zechuyos for all
Klal Yisroel, and how much more so when the general
public is involved.
Maran HaRav Yechezkel Levenstein zt'l, the
mashgiach of Yeshivas Ponevezh of Bnei Brak, would
point out that saying the brocho of asher
yotzar with kavono can bring about refu'os
for Am Yisroel (cited in Tefillas Channah).
Rabbenu the Chofetz Chaim would put his finger in the
siddur when saying the brocho of asher
When HaRav Eliyahu Lopian zt'l, the mashgiach
of Yeshivas Kfar Chassidim, once traveled by train he said
the brocho of asher yotzar out loud and with
kavono, and everyone listening answered Omen.
Soon after the train passed over a mine without incident.
Everyone on the train realized that the zechus of the
Rav's saying asher yotzar with kavono had
miraculously saved them from a catastrophe.
Surely if a large tzibbur and particularly
cheder children say asher yotzar from a
siddur, much rachamei Shomayim will be aroused
to bring refu'os for the entire world.
2) It is known that Maran the Rosh Yeshiva, HaRav E. M. Shach
shlita, always stresses the importance of saying
bircas hamozone from a siddur. Eleven years ago
when he attended a levaya of one of his most prominent
talmidim he requested the tzibbur to say the
brochos of bircas hamozone from a
siddur, and in this zechus, he said, we will
surely be zoche to rachamei Shomayim.
The Beer Heitev (Orach Chaim 185) writes: "I
found someone who explains that no fei sofis is
written in bircas hamozone because no af
(wrath) or ketzef (fury) will strike someone who says
the brochos of bircas hamozone with
kavono. Furthermore, they will enjoy abundant
livelihood their whole lives. The medakdek should be
careful to say the brochos only from a siddur
and not by heart."
All of the above is true when an individual enhances his
avodas Hashem. Surely when an entire tzibbur do
so they gain much more.
3) Maran HaRav Yitzchok Zeev Soloveitchik zt'l, the
Brisker Rov, suffered immensely during his last illness. The
Mirrer rosh yeshiva, Maran HaRav E. Y. Finkel
zt'l, came to visit him. The Brisker Rav asked why the
yeshiva talmidim are not being mispalel for his
refu'ah since he is certain that doing so would be
effective, and if they would be mispalel for him he
would surely feel better. Since he does not see any
improvement in his condition this unquestionably shows that
they have not been mispalel for him.
When one of the talmidim of the mashgiach,
HaRav Yechezkel Levenstein zt'l, became sick and
suffered yissurim the mashgiach requested the
yeshiva to say Tehillim after ma'ariv. What
happened was astounding! The doctors testified that at that
same time, every night at eight o'clock [the time they would
say Tehillim in the yeshiva] the patient was calmer
and suffered less from his yissurim [since even when
there is already a gezeira, Rachmono litzlan, it is
possible to reduce it through the power of tefillah
and thus alleviate suffering].
A story is told in the introduction of Nachalas
Eliyahu of HaRav Eliyahu Dushnitzer zt'l. Because
of managing his son's orchard, HaRav Eliyahu sunk deeply into
debt. R' Eliyahu asked his talmid, a principal of a
cheder, to say a few kapitlach of
Tehillim with the cheder talmidim for his
success in selling his son's orchard. The principal forgot
about the whole affair.
Some time afterwards R' Eliyahu met his talmid, the
principal, and asked him why he had not yet said
Tehillim with his talmidim. R' Eliyahu said he
is certain that if the cheder children say
Tehillim for him he will sell the orchard. The next
day, without delay, the principal arranged for the children
to say some kapitlach of Tehillim, and on that
very day R' Eliyahu amazingly succeeded in selling the
We learn from this that when cheder children
strengthen themselves in tefillah it is immediately
effective. R' Eliyahu was positive that he had not succeeded
in selling the orchard since the talmidim had not yet
prayed for him.
4) We will conclude this article with a story about a recent
occurrence that teaches us a lesson about the importance of a
tzibbur: A respectable Jew in Bnei Brak tragically
became ill. Doctors operated on him many times without any
encouraging results, and his condition worsened drastically.
In order to help him, his friends decided not to speak any
sichas chulin or even divrei Torah in the
beis midrash from the beginning of the tefillah
(from Boruch She'omar) until the very end (after the
last Kaddish). With Hashem's help, there was an
immediate improvement, and he eventually returned to normal
It is well known that when people came to HaRav Yaakov
Yisroel Kanievsky zt'l, the Steipler Rov, to ask for
brochos, he would in many instances say: "I am only
one person and do not have much power, but you as a
tzibbur have an immeasurable power of the
rabbim to annul gezeiros, Rachmono litzlan."
"When she came before the king he commanded by means of the
book that his wicked scheme, which he had devised against the
Jews, should return upon his own head" (Esther 9:25).
Rabbenu the Vilna Gaon says that the posuk implies
that when a Jew comes before the King (when he prays or says
a brocho before HaKodosh Boruch Hu) the best
advice is for him to say his tefillos from inside the
"book." By doing so the wicked scheme will be foiled, that
the thoughts disturbing his tefillah will be
It is only proper to add that Maran HaRav Y. Y. Kanievsky
zt'l used to say that when a Jew davens from a
siddur despite being disturbed by other thoughts his
seeing the words of tefillah within the siddur
is also considered kavono.
The novi Malachi in the end of his nevu'ah
promises us that when the tzibbur strengthen
themselves, a special sefer zikoron is opened in
Shomayim. Anyone found in that sefer is
zoche to abundant rachamei Shomayim (see the
end of Malachi) and in the zechus of the
rabbim elevating themselves may we be privileged to
hear besuros tovos, yeshu'os, and nechomos.
Omein, kein yehi rotzon.