Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Guest Post by "B" on Davening When Tragedy Strikes
(This is a guest post by "B," a Ben Noach reader, who has written here on Dixie Yid before and whose letter was just featured at Lazer Beams, by Rabbi Lazer Brody)
I was glad to see what you wrote today in your posting concerning praying in what seems like hopeless situation. It brought to mind a hasidic story that I believe was told about Avraham HaMalach the son of the Maggid of Mezritch. Avraham once had trouble davening one day because of constantly being interrupted by foreign thoughts. Even by the end of shacharis he was still very disconcerted because he did not feel that his davening was on the level that he was accustomed to. Yet, immediately after the service his father, the Holy Maggid, came up to Avraham and told him that the heavenly realms were in a state of joy like the Maggid had never seen before because of his son's prayers.
Also, I believe that I heard by Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb that prayer also has a profound effect on the individual who is praying in that even though we may not feel that our words are having any effect and the same thing is bound to happened again.
It is as Rabbi Nachman say, that even drops of water will wear away a stone over time. Thus, not only in effect turn our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh, but also affect great movements in the higher worlds.
To relate it to the Bilvavi, I have found that personally doing small periods of hisbodedus and including prayers for others through out the day have been highly effective for myself since I am no where near the level were i can seclude myself in a room for hours devoted to saying tehillim and crying out to Hashem for the sake of others.
I am getting ready to do a combat scuba course right now, which is like learning to hold your breath under water. You don't go out immediately and try to hold your breathe for 5 minutes. You slowly work your way up to it by doing small intervals of breathe-holding. This is also similar to the manner in which the Lubavitcher Rebbe would give tzedaka; one dollar at a time.
Besides, in the end you must remember that you are a holy Jewish neshama who has a special connection with Hashem that even I do not have!
I am probably writing this both for you and myself, since I am on a very low level of emunah and must constantly remind myself to be striving for higher and higher levels of emunah.
(Picture courtesy of Merkaz Memorial.com)
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