The Weekly Shtikle Blog

An online forum for sharing thoughts and ideas relating to the Parshas HaShavua

View Profile

Friday, December 28

The Weekly Shtikle - Vayechi

    In pasuk 48:22 Yaakov refers to what seems to be a certain piece of land that he captured "becharbi uvkashti." The simple translation of these words is "with my sword and my bow". However, Targum Onkelos translates "bitzlosi uv'vausi", with my prayer and my supplication. Meshech Chochma (Rabbi Meir Simcha of Dvinsk) explains the use of these two words as the translation of the words in the pasuk and the difference between the two types of prayer that Onkelos refers to.
    The word "tzelosi" refers to the regular prayers that have been specifically prescribed by the Anshei Keneses HaGedolah. The halacha regarding these prayers is that one does not require specific kavana for these prayers to work. Therefore it is the translation of "charbi", sword. It is like the sword which is used in close battle and requires little control in order to strike the target. It essentially "kills" in any circumstance.
    "Bausi" which literally means "needs," refers to one's own personal prayers to HaShem outside of those daily prayers mentioned above. With these prayers one requires specific kavana in order for them to be at all effective. These prayers are likened to the "keshes", the bow and arrow. Without a skilled shooter, it is ineffective and will more often than not miss its target. It requires specific aim in order for the arrow to reach its desired destination.
    Interestingly, the word "uvkashti" without its vowels may be read "ubakashasi," and my requests. The word could just as easily have been "vekashti," omitting repetition of the "bais" as a prefix. Perhaps the specific choice of words is a hint to Onkelos' interpretation.

Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:

Please visit the new portal for all Shtikle-related sites,
The Weekly Shtikle and related content are now featured on


Post a Comment

<< Home