Reflections on Kave and the Messiah Yeshua

The prayer ‘I have waited for your Salvation’

לישיעתך קויתי יהוה:

was originally said by our father Jacob

in Genesis 49:18 after he had prophesied

over the tribe of Dan.

It became such an important a prayer

in Jewish thought that it was prayed

not once, but three times,

with two other variations.

It is a prayer of strength against our enemies.

It is so important that it is prayed

in three different places:

1. It is prayed after reciting

the thirteen principles of faith שלשה עשר עקרים ;

2. It is prayed after the wayfarers prayerתפלת הדרך ;

3. It is prayed near the end of the bedtime shema

קריאת שמע על המטה and comes immediately after

the priestly blessing ברכת כהנים .

Why is this prayer so important?

And why is it repeated three times?

The answers to these questions are given

in the following reasons,

and also in Psalm 27 and Psalm 16.

1. It is repeated three times

because in the Shema the name of HaShem

is repeated three times with the word Echad אחד

after it at the end indicating a composite unity.

שמע ישראל

יהוה אלהינו יהוה אחד:

The composite unity of the word Echad אחד

is defined in Genesis 2:24:

“Therefore shall a man leave

his father and his mother,

and shall cleave to his wife:

and they shall be one flesh.”

על כן יעזב איש

את אביו ואת אמו

ידבק באשתו

והיו לבשר אחד:

Here ‘ONE flesh’ means a composite unity.

So the prayer is prayed three times

to emphasize the divine unity of G-d.

1. “For Your Salvation do I long, HaShem.”

לישועתך קויתי יהוה:

This time it is addressed to G-d the Father,

who is Adonai mentioned the first time in the Shema.

2. “For Your Salvation, HaShem, do I long.”

קויתי יהוה לישועתך:

This second time it is addressed to G-d the Son,

who is Elokeinu mentioned the second time in the Shema.

3. “HaShem, for Your Salvation do I long.”

יהוה לישועתך קויתי:

This third time it is addressed to G-d the Holy Spirit,

who Adonai mentioned the third time in the Shema.

Each time the prayer is said it contains

the name of the Messiah Yeshua משיח ישוע

(the word translated “Salvation”)

but the name is stated in a different order.

Thus the prayer indicates that the complete work

of redemption גאולה

found in the Messiah Yeshua משיח ישוע

provides total protection.

It is an impregnable bulwark and

an infinite defense against all enemies,

just as G-d himself is unconquerable!

This means that he will defeat

all the enemies of Israel,

including the last great

enemy of the Jewish people

which is death.

Jacob perceived this

as he saw his own death approaching.

He saw the ultimate triumph

of our Messiah Yeshua משיח ישוע ,

the Messiah of Israel, משיח ישראל

over death itself.

This gives rise to the third question

which is ‘Why did our father Jacob

use the word kiviti קויתי or kave קוה

in this prophetic prayer

and not another word?’

This question is answered by the use

of the word in Psalm 27.

Psalm 27 is a declaration

of HaShem’s protection

in the face of our enemies.

We recite this great Psalm every day

from the first day

Rosh Hodesh ראש חדש

of the month of Elul

through Shemini Atzeret שמיני עצרת .

It is also a Declaration of a

deep and intimate relationship with HaShem.

The word kave קוה is used

twice in the last verse of this psalm.

It is used the first time

after the word for faith or ‘to believe’

לולא האמנתי in the previous verse.

It is also used after the words

“land of the living” ארץ חיים

which indicates the resurrection

or eternal life.

The last enemy is death.

Here the word kave קוה

refers to the hope or the waiting

for the redemption of the Messiah משיח

through his own resurrection from the dead.

This is why the word kave קוה

and not another word is used by

our father Jacob before his death,

and why we repeat it three times

in the prayer. It is the hope

of our final redemption

and the final redemption of Israel.

This place is being prepared for us by Yeshua.

He said “Behold, I go to prepare a place for you.

In my Father’s house are many mansions.

If it were not so I would have told you.”

He has this power

because he is the Messiah משיח ,

and he triumphed over death

by his own resurrection.

This is a confirmed promise

because kave קוה is repeated twice.

When something is repeated twice

by HaShem, it is established by him,

and he will certainly bring it to pass.

It can be believed אמונה .

This gives us hope as we approach

our own death in this our own life.

We approach death,

because as the prophet cries

“all flesh is a grass,

and as the flower of the grass.”

Isaiah 40:6-8.

“The voice said, ‘Cry.’

And he said, ‘What shall I cry?’

All flesh is grass,

and all the goodliness thereof

is as the flower of the field.

The grass withers,

the flower fades,

because the Spirit of the LORD

blows upon it:

surely the people is grass.

The grass withers,

the flower fades:

but the Word of our G-d

shall stand forever.”

קול אמר קרא

ואמר מה אקרא

כל הבשר חציר

וכל חסדו כציץ השדה:

יבש חציר

נבל ציץ

כי רוח יהוה

נשבה בו

אכן חציר העם:

יבש חציר

נבל ציץ

ודבר אלהינו יקום לעולם:

In light of this,

in the last verse of Psalm 27,

the phrase ‘strengthen and encourage your heart’

חזק ויאמץ לבך

is inserted between the two times

where the phrase

‘kave el adonai–wait upon the LORD’

קוה אל יהוה

is stated. This is explained by some sages.

“Someone trying to strengthen his faith

is helped by G-d.” (Alshich)

At this point the connection with kiviti קויתי

“I long (wait, hope), HaShem, for your Salvation.”

קיויתי יהוה לישועתך

Also Malbim observes ‘that hoping

for G-d’s help is greatly different

from hoping for the aid of man.

Heartache and disillusionment are the lot

of one who is dependent on people.

Not so with G-d.

Placing one’s hope in Him is exhilarating

and brings renewed strength.’

There is another connection at this point

with Psalm 16.

There is the declaration

“I have always set the LORD

before my face;

Because he is at my right hand

I shall not be moved…

He will not allow his Holy One

to see corruption.”

שויתי יהוה לנגדי תמיד

כי מימיני בל אמוט:

לא תתן חסידך לראות שחת:

Because the Messiah משיח

did not see corruption,

my personal resurrection is

guaranteed through him.

He is always at my right hand,

and I shall not be moved.

“Therefore my heart shall be glad

and my glory rejoices:

my flesh also shall rest in Hope.

For you will not leave my soul in hell.”

לכן שמח לבי

ויגל כבודי

אף בשרו ישכון לבטח:

כי לא תעזוב נפשי לשאול:

Through the resurrection

of the Messiah Yeshua משיח ישוע ,

the Holy One,

HaShem blesses us from Zion.

“The LORD bless you from Zion” Psalm 128:5.

יברכך יהוה מציון

HaShem gives us hope, joy, and strength.

Also he gives us victory

over all our enemies,

including death.

The full force of the

reading of the Shema and its blessings

קריאת שמע וברכותיה comes upon us.

“HaShem, your G-d is true.

And Faithful is all this,

and it is firmly established for us,

that He is HaShem our G-d,

and there is none but Him,

and we are Israel, His nation.

He redeems us from the power of kings,

our King Who delivers us from the hand

of all the cruel tyrants.”

יהוה אלהיכם אמת:

ואמונה כל זאת

וקים עלינו

כי הוא יהוה אלהינו

ואין זולתו

ואנחנו ישראל עמו:

הפודנו מיד מלכים

מלכנו הגואלנו מכף

כל העריצים:

“HaShem shall reign for all eternity!”

And it is further said

‘For HaShem has redeemed Jacob,

and delivered him from a power

mightier than he.’

“Blessed are you HaShem,

Who redeemed Israel.

Lay us down, HaShem our G-d,

in peace,

Raise us up erect to life

(eternal life of the resurrection).”

יהוה ימלך לעלם ועד:

ונאמר: כי פדה

יהוה את יעקב

וגאלו מיד חשק ממנו:

ברוך אתה יהוה

גאל ישראל:

השכיבנו יהוה אלהינו לשלום

והעמידנו מלכנו לחיים: