Feb 10, 2009

Blessing of Having Our Prayers Answered (Shema Koleinu/Hear our Voices)

February 7th
Mrs. Raizy Guttman
It’s a very special bracha that we’re up to. We’re actually up to the last of the 13 intermediate blessings, the thirteen requests that encompass all of our individual and collective needs.
The first 6, lets do a quick review, were the requests for the individual. We ask for da’as which was knowledge and insight. We ask for repentance, forgiveness. We ask for geulah which is our personal redemption from our individual difficulties and problems in life. We ask for health and healing. The 6th is sustenance and livelihood.
The following 6 are reqests for the nation as a collective whole and therefore map out the stages and requests for the messiah. Because these are everything that we can hope for. Anything that we could hope for will take place when moshiach comes.
Ingathering of the exiles when all Jews will come together. We spoke about blowing the shofar and G-d making great miracles.
The 8th blessing was the blessing of restoration of the true judges where we’ll have the great leaders to guide us in the spirit of torah.
the 9th blessing is the removal of evil
the 10th is the blessing on the tzadikim which is the elevation and reward of the good where everyone will get exactly what they deserve
the 11th is the rebuilding of Jerusalem, the rebuilding of the holy Temple
the 12th is the rule of moshiach and what will happen when moshiach will come and a descendant of king david will rule

The last of our requests now is an all encompassing prayer that unites all the previous requests and gives meaning and purpose to all our prayers. It is a request that all our prayers be answered. All of our prayers that we asked for up until now, now we collectively ask that G-d answer all of our prayers. In this short but deeply meaningful prayer, we gain many insights into the essence of prayer and different strategies on how to have our prayers answered. As we go through the words we will point out a few of these strategies and how to achieve them. This prayer is also called all encompassing because one is encouraged to speak to G-d in his own words. In any language and to beg G-d for his own personal requests and we’ll point out the exact place that one can do this in this prayer.
Rav Hirsch Shatz points out that the previous blessing of Moshiach, of the kingdom of David, we concluded our reqests about the future redemption, and with this prayer of “listen to our voice” we return to the present and our prayers in exile. The words of this blessing are actually very appropriate for begging G-d to save us from the exile. The first time that these words were said were by the angels. When did the angels say these words? The angels said “Blessed are you G-d who answers prayers” When? When the Jews were in exile in Egypt. Now how appropriate is this Saturday night of when we just read about this in shul. We just read about the exodus from Egypt how G-d took the Jews out of Egypt and split the sea. And this is exactly when this blessing that we’re speaking about tonight, the angels said these words when the Jews were in exile in Egypt and were crying out to G-d to save them. Therefore this is a real Exile prayer that G-d should help all of us individually and collectively from all the difficulties that we experience in exile just as He did for the Jews in Egypt and heard their cries and answered them.
So we begin with the words “Shema Koleinu”. If you want to look in your siddur, the first words of this very beautiful and personal and meaningful prayer is “Listen to our voice”. Now, we don’t say listen to our prayer. We don’t say listen to our reqests our supplications, rather we say listen to our voice .Now the voice symbolizes the inner voice of a person. It symbolizes the true deep down desire of a person. I’ll give you an example: when Sarah wanted to send Yishmael [Abrahams son] out of the house, because he wasn’t be a good influence on Yitzchak, Abraham was a little bit wary about this. I mean, Abraham was Mister Chesed, Mister Kindness. He invited everyone into his house! And now he has to throw his own son out of his house?! It was a very difficult thing for him. And yet G-d comes to Abraham and says “Whatever Sarah tells you to do, listen to her voice”. And what’s the significance of “listen to her voice”? Why didn’t G-d just say “listen to her!” Whatever Sarah says listen to her. Or listen to this particular thing. Whatever she tells you right now it’s a good thing. But He didn’t say that, He said “listen to her voice”. Meaning whatever Sarah tells you. Meaning anything that Sarah tells you Abraham, listen to her because she knows what she’s talking about, right? She has an innate connection to spirituality which is her voice.
So we say to G-d, that although we don’t always know exactly what to say, and sometimes we say the words and we don’t fully understand or appreciate what we’re saying. We tell G-d to overlook our human frailties and to look straight into my neshama, my inner voice. My true inner will which is only to become close to You.
So we see the first strategy in having our prayers answered is also probably the most important and practical strategy. Is by focusing on that inner voice. Not just telling G-d to do so, to say “Shema Koleinu” and then totally not concentrate on what we’re saying. We don’t say “OK G-d, You just look inside my soul and answer me”. But no! By focusing on that inner voice by trying very hard to concentrate and express what is truly inside of us. And this is achieved through having real intent. By really looking at the words that we’re saying. And that’s why we’re having these classes! All these classes are for the purpose of helping us truly understand what we’re saying so that we can tap into that voice and not just mouth off the words that are written in the siddur but actually have a deep understanding of what we’re saying, which is our inner voice.
Its true that we tell G-d that even if I don’t have the right intention, please G-d, answer my prayers anyway. But if we want to really arouse the Divine mercy we can concentrate carefully on the words that we’re saying. Like it says “A prayer without intent is like a body without a soul.” Just mouthing off the words does not show G-d our inner yearning for closeness to him, right? One would not speak to a doctor with whom he’s begging to save his life in a passive and distracted way. He would beg him “Please please find a cure for my illness!” This person is suffering in terrible pain for months and months. All the more so when we pray to G-d who is really the only one who can help us and save us from anything.
Rav Elyah Lopian used to stress that the main requirement for prayer is two fold. What are the two main intentions? The two main things a person should focus on when he’s praying? He says number one, we have to focus and concentrate on what we’re saying. Meaning know the meaning of the words, understand what you are saying. And number two remember to whom we are saying it. Not to lose focus that I am standing now in front of G-d and speaking now directly to him. Its like if I were standing now in front of that doctor, we wouldn’t forget in the middle of the conversation that we were talking to the doctor! So the same way that of course we see the doctorand he’s a human being and we’re talking directly to him, and with G-d we don’t see Him right in front of us. Our goal is to strive to see G-d right in front of us. That’s the very first thing the Shulchan Aruch tells us [the way a jew is supposed to live his life, ittells us how to wake up in the morning, what we’re supposed to do, how we’re supposed to get dressed how we’re supposed to take a shower. There’s a way to do everything. When a Jew lives by the shulchan aruch he knows exactly what to do always.] The very first words of the shulchan Aruch are “Place G-d in front of me at all times” And if a jew would really do that and live that and always focus on “G-d is in front of me, what does G-d want from me now? If G-d is watching me, how am I going to act now?” And certainly certainly when we pray this is so important. Like R’ Elyah Lopain says these are the two prerequisites. Thes are the main requirements for prayer 1. Know what you’re saying and 2. know to whom you are saying it. Remember that we’re speaking directly to G-d.
Now in order for one’s prayers to be accepted ones heart and inner voice hav eto participate in this process of prayer. So in tehse words we ask G-d “Tap into my inner voice” My true deep intention. And we have to not just ask G-d to do that and make our own efforts to bring out that inner voice. The true inner me, my soul and my desire which is to cleave to G-d and to do His will. We have to try and bring that out as much as possible when we pray. We should be careful to say the words clearly but this is far less important than the intent that is behind the words. We compare ourselves to children of G-d just as a baby and toddler speaks gibberish. You know when a baby starts to talk he says “mama, baba, gaga” and of course nobody understand what the child is talking about except for who? The mother! The mother knows exactly what the child is saying when he says “Baba” It means he wants a bottle! The mother totally understands his language even when it is totally incomprehensible to anybody else. Because she loves her child and she knows what is his intention even when his words are not clear. Somebody who lisps for example or stutters or has any sort of speech impediment preventing him from speaking clearly should not be dismayed by his inability to daven clearly. We know that moses had a speech impediment and yet he was the only man who ever spoke face to face with G-d. I think there’s such a tremendous lesson to learn from this. That moses who couldn’t even speak clearly, he could hardly speak properly. And yet he was the one who was chosen to be the leader fot eh jewish people, to teach Torah to the Jewish people, to speak face to face with G-d so that nobody could later say “G-d, I couldn’t do it because I had a speech impediment” or “I couldn’t do that because I had something else” nobody has an excuse because look at Moses! The truth is that G-d wants the heart and He looks inside our heart to hear our inner voice and we have to do ours by having the proper intention and concentration when we pray.
Now the word tefillah which means prayer, says Rav Shwab actually comes from the word “Pilel” Which means to think. As in the verse in beraishis [48:11], and it says there “I never thought I would see your face”. Therefore, continues Rav Shwab ust saying the word, just the outer voice without thinking them without the inner voice means absolutely nothing. Ones general kavana nad mindset during prayer should be that every minute of hjis life and all of his sustenenc eis totally dependant on g-d this should be our intention. One does not know what the next moment will bring. And when one stand before G-d in prayer he should be aware that he is one heart beat away from oblivion.
Rabbi nachman of breslov used to say [I’m not sure if I have the right words, because I prepared this class on the airplane. As I was coming here. I had a window seat which was wonderful. I kept looking outside and feeling like “What is holding me up?? What is holding this plane up. All these people! This plane weighs a lot, what is holding us up?” I still don’t know how it works! Someone once tried to explain it to me. I was talking to a pilot and he tried to explain to me how the plane stays up. It was very fascinating but I dindt really understand what he was saying. And as I was sitting on the plane and I was prepareing this class about being one heart beat away from oblivion, it was very appropriate because I really felt lik e the whole time I was praying to G-d, “G-d please down let this plane fall down!”]. So Rabbi Nachman of Breslov used to say

“Imagine that you are dangling
by the thinnest hair over
the ocean waves that are
roaring below.
Because dear friend…
You are.”

[And I really was when I was writing this class!] And this is how we’re supposed to feel when we say this.
We then address G-d directly. The next words that we say after shema koleinu [listen to our inner voice] we say “Hashem Elokeinu” Hashem our G-d. We say “YOU ARE HASHEM!” You are the Great and Lofty, Big and Far, Omnipotent All powerful G-d. And yet at the same time You are our G-d. You are so close to us. The closest possible relationship since You are actually inside of us. My soul is a piece of You G-d. Thus see inside me and hear my inner voice. That’s the connection between “listen to my inner voice” And “Hashem who is so big and so great, and yet You are our individual and private G-d.” Therefore You are so close to me and can know whats going on inside my soul.
Now we continue with the words “Pity us and have mercy on us.” The Avnei Eliyahu explains that theres a difference between these two words that both mean mercy. “Chus” means pity and “Rachem” means mercy. Which is really both the same things. Whats the difference between them? He says that the word “Chus” means pity from the standpoint that we are G-ds creations and his own handiwork. Therefore just as a na artist or a craftsman will have pity on his own work. If I draw a beautiful picture im going to be careful with it. In the same way, G-d should have pity on us because he made us. As we say in the prayers on Rosh Hashana “Have pioty on yoiur handiwork” Chus means G-d have pity on us because You made us. We’re Yours! Rachem on the other hand is a request for G-ds mercy on us because of our lowly state. Not because we deserve anyting but just because “Rachmanus!” We ask “hashem please have mercy on us because we’re nothing. Wehre nobody. We’re nothing and we cant survive one minute without your pity.” And this leads us right into strategy number two in having our prayers accepted.
We must come before G-d with humility. The second strategy is humility. We have to feel totally subservient and powerless and dependant on G-d that without his constant supervision we wouldn’t be around, not even for one second. We actually say this every day when we pray “G-d, the soult hat you put in me is pure, you created it, You made it and You blew it into me, and You babysit it for me.” G-d You babysit that soul that’s inside of me. Because if for one minute you would not be guarding my soul, that’s it I wouldn’t bea ble to live for one more second. How is it that G-d blew into my nostrils my soul and yet my soul doesn’t come out of my nostrils! Or even when I open up my mouth, my soul doesn’t come flying out, or out of my ears. Why is that?> I have all these openings in my body and yet my soul remains inside of me. That’s because G-d is watching over my soul and making sure it doesn’t fly out until the moment that its meant to fly out. So we see here that we are truly powerless and G-d unless he constantly supervices us we cant survive for even one second.
We have to feel completely undeserving for all the kindness that G-d does for me. The reason that we bow at the beginning and end of Shmoneh esrei is to instill in us this feeling of humility. That’s the purpose of the bowing. Now this should be our intention when we are bowing. We are supposed to be thinking atha twe are completely subersvient and humbled before G-d. Its interesting that the High Preist used to bow at the end of every blessing in the shmoneh esrei. And the king used to bow at the beginning and end of every blessing! There are other opinions that say that the king used to remain bowed during the entire prayer. Because the higher ones status is the more he has to bend before g-d and the more he has to work on this characteristic of humility. The higher you are the more you hav eto work on feeling low.
The Shulchan Aruch actually suggests a posture that puts restraint on ones physical posture. Therefore Itcauses one to feel humble. It says one must stand with his feet close together so they’re like one foot . [we all do that] but then he says antoher interesting thing that I didn’t even know this, that one should clasp his hands over his heart, his right hand over his left hand and stand like a slave before his master in awe fear and dread. This posture adds to ones feelings of helplessness and complete subservience to G-d. Its like hwen your feet are together ryou cant walk. And when you r hands are together you cant move your hands. It’s a feeling of being bound up of being tied up like I am powerless. That’s the idea. So that’s the second strategy. The first was to have intention and to tap into our inner voice and to feel that inner voice by really concentrating on the words that we’re saying knowing the meaning of what we’re staying and before whom we are saying it. The second strategy is the strategy of humility, praying with a very humble heart. Feeling completely subservient and completely undersving of all of G-ds gifts.
The enxt words we say are “Accept with mercy and desire our prayers.” Rav Shamshon Refael Hirsch explains that we must realize that our prayers as well as Torah learning and good deeds are creating our destiny and the destiny o the world. The Olas Tomid says that we have no idea how our prayers are beloved up in Heaven. And the great and unfathomable effects that they are having on the universe. Even if our own individual requests are not answered the way we wish. Rav Avigdor Miller adds that tefillah, prayer is our gift to G-d. He receives with Ratzon with desire. It gives Him a sort of satisfaction that His will was initiated and developed. We’re supposed to be feeling that what can we already do for G-d? What can we give G-d? Thers really nothing we can give Him because He’s not lacking in any way. Therefore what can we ever give back to Him? What can we do to show Him how much we appreciate everything He does for us? G-d really desires our prayers. Of course he doesn’t NEED our prayers but he desires them. When we pray to G-d we are giving G-d a “nachas” Like a feeling of joy and satisfaction that we’re praying to Him.
This leads us to our third strategy in having prayers accepted which is having confidence in your prayer. The Chofetz Chaim actually writes that in the merit of these three things our prayers will be answered! If a person has these first three strategies that we just mentioned:
1. Kavanah, real strong intention,
2. anavah, Humility, truly fealing humble and subservient
3. Emunah – belief in the power of my prayer

In the merit of these three things our prayers will be answered. The Gemarah in Rosh Hashana brings down a situation of two sick men who were lying on their death bed. Both suffering from the same disease. The first one recovers and goes on to resume a healthy and normal life. The second one got sicker and sicker and eventually died. The Gemarah says “What was the difference between them?” It sayst he first one prayed a complete prayer while the other did not. If you want to look this up it is the Gemarah in Rosh Hashana, 18a. Rav Elyah Lopian comments on this. He says what is the meaning of a complete prayer? What makes a prayer complete? And he goes on to say that it meanst he first man believed in the effectiveness of his prayer. The second man may have prayed with the same intensitiy as the first and he may have understood the meaning of tehwords and he may have prayed with complete subservience and humility and felt undersving and all that, but he ditn truly bleive in his heart that his prayer was going to be effective. So Rashi says that he was “lo niskaven” He didn’t really believ e that his prayer would work. He prayed just in case it could help. Certainly it cant hurt. But he didn’t believe in the complete and tremendous power of his prayer. And this takes a lot of work. To really believe that my prayer has tremendous prayer! My prayer will be effective.
We then say the words “For you G-d, are the G-d who hears prayers and pleadings”. Whats the difference between prayers and pleadings? Tefillah [prayer] coems from the word pillel to think. That’s why the normal terminology that we use when we speak about prayer is tefillah. Like we said a tefillah is a prayer to G-d that is emenating from our thoughts, from logical reasoning. I have to use mypower of thoughts to express the thoughts I have in my mind. That is the simple meaning of prayer. However tachanunim [pleadings] goes deeper. And a step further and much higher level or prayer. Tachanunim means pleading and beseeching. These are prayers that are coming from a different place. They are coming straight from the heart, form the emotions they are an outpouring of ones souls that are usually accompanied by tears. So strategy number 4 is to pray with tears. Pray with deep emotion. The gemarah teaches us in Berachos 32b, From the day that the holy temple was destroyed the gates of prayer are locked. however the gates of tears are never locked. This means that a person’s prayer can reach the pinnacle of heaven but may not penetrate the locked gates of prayer until he cries with emotion and at that moment ht e gates of tears open up. Rav Yonasan Eibishitz says that the numerical value of crying is “bechi” Which is 32 which is the same as the word lev [heart]. One who prays with kavanas halev [emotions of the heart], which is tachanunim [pleading] its not just tefillah. Tefillah is prayer from thoughts and praying from your mind and what’s in your mind. Tachanunim is one who prays with his heart which is a step above. Those prayers enter heaven through the unlocked gates. This also refers to crying out to G-d without actual tears. Meaning even if the tears don’t come, some people find it very difficult to cry. But when one cries out from the depths of his heart, this is also what it means. This is also a crying out even if it doesn’t come with tears.
The Shiltei Giborim writes that whoever cries during prayer, the stars and constellations cry with him. And his prayer is heard. The zohar brings down that prayers with tears are never returned empty. The Satmer Rebbe explains this to mean that when a tearful prayer arrives in heaven, all the prayers that are standing and waiting at the locked gates, because these prayers made it up there. They had humility and they had intent and they had subserviecnea nd all the things hta twe spoke about and a person believes in his prayer. But they were lacking those tears they were lacking that depth of emotions. The satmer rebbe says that all those prayers that are standing and waiting at the locked gate, are swept through to the throne of hashem when one prayer comes in. When you cry and you pour out your heart with that depths of emotion, those tears goes straight up.
A story is told of the Chofetz Chaim who was visiting a small town. And he saw a man sitting by his house and this man was crying bitterly. Why? He had just returned from serving 35 years in the czars army. And Rosh Hashana was coming. The high holy days were coming and he was terribly pained that he had no idea how to pray. He knew he was jewish but for 35 years he was in the army and he had no idea how to pray and he was crying bitterly over this plight. Years later the chofetz chaim returned to this town and he returned to this very place to this street where the man sat and cried, and there stood a bais medrish, a place of prayer and torah learning, a shul! And the chofetz chaim said that he had no doubt that the building was built by the tears of sincerity and yearning of that broken man. And I remember hearing another amazing story. Rav Shimshon Pincus was known for his tremendous depth of emotion and tremendous love for other Jews. One time there was a man in his community who did not have any children ofr many years. Rav Pincus wanted to help him. And he said “Come, were going to go out and im going tot ake you out to nowheresville and drop you off in the middle of the desert somewhere, [I mean he lived in Ofakim which is already in the middle of nowehresville] I’m going to drop you off somewhere and you pour out your heart to G-d. Cry out to him and beg him for a child. The man said OK, Rav Shimshon Pincus took him in his car and dropped him off. It was 12 oclock at night and he said “You pray, I’m going to come pick you up soon.” The man started praying and davening to hashem. He says whatever tehillim he knows. And a half hour later Rav Pincus comes by to pick him up and takes one look at the man and says “are you finished?” the man said “Yeah… I guess so.” Rav Pincus took one look at his face and he said “No. You’re not finished because that’s not what I meant. I want you to cry and beseech Hashem with all your heart! Go back and pray and I’ll pick you up soon.” So its already like 12:30, One in the morning. Rav Pincus drives away and he leaves the man there to pray again. He comes back about an hour later. He takes one look at the man and he says “No. No. That’s not what I meant. You’re going to do this again. I want you to scream and yell and carry on and cry and talk to Hashem like He’s your father and He’s right here in front of you! I want you to cry out your heart to Hashem. I’m going to come back a little later.” And he left this man there in the middle of the night and the man finally understood what Rav Pinkus was talking about. And he started to cry and he started to scream and yell and beg and plead and pour out his heart to Hashem that he was completely totally soacked from sweat and tears. And when Rav Pinkus came back to pick him up, he took one look at him and said “That’s what I meant.” And a year later this man had a child.
We continue with the words “And from before you our King, do not send us away empty handed.” Rav Shwab explains these words so beautifully. He says that when we pray to hashem for our needs, of course we want our needs to be fulfilled and our prayers to be answered. Our prayers always are answered. Sometimes for reasons we cant understand the answer is no. We therefore ask G-d “Do not send us away empty handed” Even if the answer is no we should not go away from our prayer with a feeling of rejection. At least our tefilla should encourage us that we have forged a deeper bond with Hashem through our prayers which is truly the ulimate goal of prayer. We know the story of Chana. Chana didn’t have any children `and she went up to the tabernacle to pray for a childand she was crying and pleasding with G-d for a child, she was baron for 19 years her lips were moving and no sound was coming out. The high priest thought she was drunk she was davening for a child so hard! At the end of her prayer when she finished praying the verse tells us “her face was no longer sad”. Now at that point, Chana had no idea if her prayer will be answered. She didn’t know that 9 months later she was going to have a child and that she was going to have a Samuel the Prophet. She didn’t know that at that point. She had just finished praying and yet she felt uplifted from her prayer. She felt strengthened in her relationship with G-d through her prayer.
Strategy #5: Always have spirituality in mind. Remember that the goal of prayer is coming close to G-d. Even when we ask G-d for wisdom, health, livelihood. For whatever you want. We should always remember that the purpose of prayer is to serve G-d and to come close to Him. If I’m asking for wisdom, I should ask Him for wisdom so that I can serve Him. If I’m asking for health I should be asking for health so that I should be able to serve Him. Everything that I ask should be for one purpose. So that I can serve You and that I can be closet o You. Keeping this in mind when we pray will put all our prayers in the right perspective. And then no prayer will ever be returned empty handed for we have achieved the purpose of coming that much closer to G-d which is the real ultimate goal of prayer.
We end with the words: “For You hear the prayer of Your nation Israel with pity”. Which follows along the same idea that we spoke about before which is the single minded idea of prayer which is closeness to G-d. Here we say the words “This is the one prayer of Your nation Israel” We don’t say the many prayers of your nation Israel, we say it in the singular as if there is only one prayer. The entire nation of Israel has only one prayer. The turht is that there really is only one prayer. Every single supplication and request and yearning of the Jew is this one tefillah of coming close to You G-d. this is the underlying purpose of it all. Everything else that we ask for is just a means to attain that goal. And of course that is a merit. By asking G_d for whatever we want and for having in mind that “im only asking for this thing because its going to help me in my service to you. I’m asking for health sothat I should be able to live long and serve You. Not just because I want it for myself” That’s a tremendous merit so that we’re totallyfocused on the purpose of our prayers is to serve G-d.
David Hamelech says [and we’ve said this many times, its one of my favorite verses. Chapter 27 of Psalms] “There’s only one thing that I ask of You G-d” and then he says “That I sit in the house of G_d all the days of my life, that I should see the sweetness of G-d and I should be ablet o visitn in Your sanctuary.” And G-d says to David “Hey David! You said you were only asking for one thing! And now you’re giving me a whole list of things!” And David says back “G-d, You did the same thing I learnt this from You!” Hashem wrote in the Torah “What is it that G-d wants from you? Only to fear Him. And to love him, to cleave to Him, to follow in His commandments” We have a whole long list of things that G-d is asking for. So why does He make it sound like He only wants one thing from us? Just to fear Him? The truth is that in essence G-d only wants one thing from us: That we have fear of Heaven. But we need all the other things to achieve that. So too says David “All I want is one thing” And we all agree, all we want is one thing. We want to sit in the house of G-d all the days of our lives. Meaning we want to always be connected to G-d. But we need everything else that we ask for in order to achieve that goal. I need everything but its only for one purpose. And this should be our intention. That the purpose of all prayer and every prayer is meant to bring us closer to that goal.
We end off the blessing with “Blessed are you G-d who hears prayer” And this is our decleration of our belief that we are not just standing and talking to the wall. You know, if someone walks in and you’re standing and mouthing words and theres nobody there, you might look ab it strange. But the truth is that we believe that hahsem hears every word that we say. This is strategy #6 “Believe and trust in G-d that He truly hears you. And He loves every effort that you make in your prayer and this is so important in having our prayers answered.

Lets recap:May we be continuously inspired to pray with our hearts and may Hashem hear our inner voice as we pray with sincerity.
1. True Kavana
2. Humility
3. Confidence in our prayers, believe in our prayers that they work
4. Daven with tears, from the depths of our heart
5. Believe and trust that Hashem really hears us and really loves every one of our prayers
6. Always remember that the true goal of prayers is to come close to G-d and not necessarily to receive what we ask for because WE don’t always know what’s good for us. And may we always have true faith and trust that Hashem loves our prayers and hears every word.

May we all utilize this greatest gift or prayer to strive and achieve our potentials in our service to G-d.

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