Shemot: Chapter 52

A sigh, a cry, a wail


Rabbi Yitzchak discusses the distinction between a sigh, a cry and a wail. We learn that crying involves words, while wailing is crying without words. Because it comes from the heart, prayer with wailing is the most powerful form of prayer. Rabbi B'rechyah gives the example of Samuel, who "wailed to Hashem all night" because this form of prayer allows the closest access to God. The intensity of this silent expression of prayer and sorrow is such that it can effect a change in the decreed Judgment for the individual, since wailing dominates the aspect of Justice in this world and the World to Come.


Tears emerge from the eyes, so it is fitting that our eyes now commence the greatest of all wails simply by allowing them to caress the words that adorn this passage. Our heartfelt meditation here gathers the wailings and unutterable emotions of the Righteous throughout history and sends them heavenward. A torrent of healing Light is summoned forth, and all judgments decreed upon this world are repealed.