Judaism: Prayer and Services
One of the first things that we see in the Torah is that Sarah, Rifka and Rachel all have difficulty conceiving. These are the mothers of the Jewish People. If we comprehend that the Creator intended for us to be here, why did the Creator make these women infertile?
The Torahs teaches us that the Creator wanted the world to see what a person should do when they really want something - that a person needs to ask for it. What Avraham taught us is that there IS someone to ask! The Creator is the Ultimate complaint department. He wants to hear from us, His children!
Are you a parent? Do you know how you feel when your children whine and complain to you? As parents, we would do anything to make them stop whining and complaining. To quote Rabbi Orlofsky, parents just want quiet. Our reaction to whining could not be more different from the Creator's reaction. The Creator WANTS us to whine and complain to Him. He wants our tears and prayers. Why?
The Creator wants to give us what is good for us. In Rabbi Kleinman's book
Praying with Fire
the author explains that when we pray to the Creator, we merit what we ask for when we are able to change ourselves.
Imagine that you have a child who wants a bike but the child is a little spoiled. He is demanding and unruly. Nevertheless, the parent gets the bike and hides it in the basement, hoping for an opportunity to give the child the bike he wants.
No opportunity arises. Months go by. One day, the child says to the father, "Dad, you know, I just want you to know that even though I ask for a lot, I really understand that you and Mom give me everything and I want you to know I really appreciate it."
How long do you think it would take for the father to go to the basement and give the child the bike? After wiping away tears of joy that is.
This is the idea of prayer. There is Someone to Ask! The Creator is waiting to hear from every one of us.
The prayer services are designed to ask for the things we need, whether or not we realize we need it. There are opportunities to insert personal requests. But mostly, it is good to begin speaking to the Creator all day long, asking for His Assistance whenever we face a phone call, a challenge, a trying situation. And, thanking Him whenever we are spared a difficulty, receive a good medical report and more.
Build talking to the Creator into your day. Understand each paragraph of the Shemona Esrai: Art of Jewish Prayer
Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller, in 5 video-taped classes at Naaleh.com on the topic of Principles of Faith discusses prayer in-depth (free but registration required):
Rebbetzin Heller Principles of Faith Naaleh.com
Prayer books with linear English translations can be helpful: Metsudah Siddur with linear English translation
For a wider selection:
Artscroll Prayer BooksPage
See Special Prayer for Jewish Unity
Judaism: Back to Home Page
Judaism: Back to Basic Beliefs Page
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