by Rabbi Moshe Goldberger
A talmid of Rabbi Avigdor Miller
What Is Bechina?
• Bechina means to observe and think about the phenomena of the universe in order to appreciate the Creator’s wisdom and kindliness.
• The Rambam (Yesodai HaTorah 2:2) considers studying Hashem’s creations the way to achieve the mitzvah of loving and fearing Hashem.
All of creation is united in one purpose — the production and maintenance of life
• The second chapter of Chovos Halevavos is devoted to this subject. It states that this study is the easiest way to develop an understanding and awareness of the Creator.
• “The heavens declare the glory of G-d,” (Tehilim 19:2); yet “The Torah of Hashem is perfect” (Tehilim 19:8), because the Torah teaches His ways, His attributes, and His will in a manner superior to the marvels of creation.
• The fundamental principle of the goodness of the world is proclaimed at the beginning of the Torah: “G-d saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good,” (Beraishis 1:31).
Mitzvos You Fulfill When Engaging in Bechina
• The mitzvah of emunah (belief): By observing the striking purposefulness of Hashem’s handiwork, one becomes much more aware of the Creator.
• The mitzvah to remember (be mindful of) Hashem: “Lest you forget Hashem,” (Devarim 8:11; Rabbeinu Yona, Shaarei Teshuva 3:26–27).
• The mitzvah to meditate on the greatness of Hashem: “You shall know today and put into your heart [mind] that Hashem is G-d,” (Devarim 4:39).
• The mitzvah to remember His kindnesses and to contemplate them: “You shall remember,” (Devarim 8:2) and, as Dovid Hamelech said, “The kindnesses of Hashem are in front of my eyes,” (Tehilim 26:3).
• The mitzvah to love Hashem: “By thinking about and enjoying the abundant kindnesses of Hashem, we gain from this comprehension the highest joy, which is the essence of the love of Hashem in which we are obligated,” (Rambam, Sefer Hamitzvos).
• The mitzvah to fear Hashem: “By reflecting upon His wondrous and great deeds and creations, and seeing in them His endless and incomparable wisdom…one will come to love, praise…and fear Him,” (Rambam, Yesodai HaTorah 2:2).
• The mitzvah of awareness of Hashem’s oneness: By observing that all of creation is united in one purpose — the production and maintenance of life — we become aware of the oneness of the Creator.
• The mitzvah of simcha (joy and happiness): “You shall rejoice with all the good that Hashem has given you,” (Devarim 26:11).
• The mitzvah of deveikus (thinking and attaching oneself to Him): “Perfection is to be gained by attachment (deveikus) to G-d,” (Mesilas Yesharim 1).
• The mitzvah of avodas Hashem (performing His service): By studying the countless benefits Hashem bestows on a person, one will be humbled and accept upon himself to serve his Creator.
• The mitzvah of gratitude: It is impossible to have true gratitude unless one studies and is aware of each kindness separately. “How can I repay Hashem for all that He has bestowed on me?” (Tehilim 116:12).
• The mitzvah to praise Hashem: We are obligated to consider as profoundly as possible the greatness of Hashem and to praise Him accordingly. Because His perfection is endless, our praises, recognition, and expressions of humility of His power and of His kindly attributes should be continuous and everlasting.
Excerpted from Gifts From Hashem by Rabbi Moshe Goldberger, Simchas Hachaim Publishing, 2015.