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A Level Praying Field

by Rabbi Yaakov Rosenblatt


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Prayer is an utterly intriguing endeavor. It plays an integral role in many people's lives, a significant role in the lives of countless others -- and is instinctive to all people in the face of trying circumstances.

I remember the first time I really prayed, as a young child. I had a significant speech impediment that I became more conscious of as I grew and would often ask G-d to help me speak more fluently. "Please let me have an easier time," I would ask, "participating in class and conversing with friends."

The Torah relates that three of our Four Matriarchs were unable to bear children. The sages of the Talmud explain that G-d purposely created them so, since "G-d desires the prayers of the righteous." It was because G-d wanted the Matriarchs to ask Him to fulfill their desire for children, in other words, that He created them with this profound lack. Indeed, the sages continue, special people are often handed special challenges as a means of fostering their relationship with G-d.

Special people are often handed special challenges as a means of fostering their relationship with G-d
Admittedly, a difficult concept to understand.

Indeed, it goes to the very essence of Jewish belief, that G-d is one and that He is infinite, unlimited and omnipotent, empowered in every way. Nothing can occur beyond His control, because, quite simply, there is nothing that can exist independent of Him.

Like most of us, I have always had a difficult time comprehending the concept of "the infinite." In the world around us, everything takes on definite dimensions, both in time and space. It is difficult to understand a realm in which such barriers do not exist.

However, although my mind had a difficult time understanding it, my soul understood it instinctively. All souls do.

For a soul is, in essence, a spark of the Divine. It can never be satisfied by the pleasures offered by the physical world. It always wants more, desires something greater. It yearns for an experience that is unlimited, an experience that is "complete." It yearns to touch the infinite, to touch G-d Himself.

Part of the expression of that yearning is prayer. And yet the endeavor remains baffling. If an infinite and omniscient G-d knows exactly what we need and want, and has chosen not to give that particular thing to us, how can asking Him for it possibly have any value?


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a prayer for g-d

Posted by: Graciano, Phoenix, AZ on Mar 23, 2006

Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Usually referring to the Babylonian edition, it is a compilation of Rabbinic law, commentary and analysis compiled over a 600 year period (200 BCE - 427 CE). Talmudic verse serves as the bedrock of all classic and modern-day Torah-Jewish literature.
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.