In Ber. 16b the Gemara recites some prayers that were said at the end of the Shemoneh Esrei all beginning with "y'he ratzohn mil'phanecha...". Could you explain the use of the word "mil'phanecha" in these prayers? In the Tanach it seems to be used to describe something that leaves the presence of G-d.
Thank you for answering my last question on the first word of Berachos. There are few people whom I can ask these questions! I look forward to your response. thank you and Happy Chanukah.
Good question. Many of our prayers begin with this phrase, and it is certainly worthwhile to understand what it means. You are correct that the phrase "mi'li'Fnei," in Tanach, generally means that something was " li'Fnei " Hash-m or a person and went out from there. However, there are times when the word "mi'li'Fnei" is used the same way as "li'Fnei," and it means that the person or thing is still in front of Hash-m or the other person (see, for example, Shmuel I 8:18). This is true especially when something is being asked before a king -- the verse says that it is being asked "mi'li'Fnei" the king (as in Esther 4:8). In our prayers, too, it is as if we are saying "Yehi Ratzon li'Fanecha ," meaning "It should be the will before You " (that is, it should be Your will.)
Furthermore, it seems that we are asking first that the will to bestow kindness upon us be before Hash-m, and second, that this will come forth from before Him ("mi'li'Fanav") and be manifest in action. We find this meaning of the term in Tehilim 17:2, where it says, "From before You (mil'Fanecha) justice for me shall go out." Similarly, "All wealth and all honor come from before You (ha'Osher v'ha'Kavod mil'Fanecha)" (Divrei ha'Yamim I 29:12), meaning that wealth and honor come from Hash-m.
This way of phrasing our prayers to Hash-m was used by David ha'Melech (Tehilim 19:15).
By the way, in what part of the world are you located?