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THE ART OF RELENTLESS PRAYER
It is only natural for us to think that a successful prayer is one that was answered. Well, yes and no. G-d never needed your prayers to solve your problems to begin with. He brought you your problems, because you were not praying with your soul. Once you are talking to Him and you bring Him into your life, He does not need to wake you up anymore, as long as you are talking to Him.
Prayer is not asking, as much as it is a superpowered connection to G-d, Source of all blessing. It is man’s greatest power. Prayer is not merely a solution for a problem. Prayer is constant; it is the pump to bring down G-d’s goodness from the Heavens, and it is needed in the world to keep it up, as it is one of the pillars of the universe. One of the perks of prayer is that your problems will be solved. But prayer is not to solve problems.
The prayer pump is what brings rain down from the Heavens. It is the power that cures all sickness and pain, and prevents them from happening. Prayer is the highest expression of enjoying a relationship with G-d in this world. The value of constant prayer is not that G-d will hear us, but that we will hear Him, see Him, feel Him and have a relationship with Him.
With that intro, we are ready for the bomb of truth. When Hamas acts barbaric, when he strikes terror, he is doing precisely what he was created by G-d to do! It’s his job to be animal, a פֶּ֣רֶא אָדָ֔ם! R’ Eliezer Ben Hurkenus taught, two millenniums ago, “Yishmael was one of six that were given their names before they were born. Why was he called Yishmael? שֶׁעָתִיד הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לִשְׁמֹעַ בְּקוֹל נַאֲקַת הָעָם, מִמַּה שֶּׁעֲתִידִין בְּנֵי יִשְׁמָעֵאל לַעֲשׂוֹת בָּאָרֶץ בְּאַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים, לְפִיכָךְ נִקְרָא שְׁמוֹ יִשְׁמָעֵאל, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר יִשְׁמַע אֵל וְיַעֲנֵם G-d will hear, in the end of days, the voice of the groans of the Jewish Nation, from what the sons of Yishmael will do in Eretz Yisrael in the End of Days… That is why he is called Yishmael! As it says, “G-d will listen, and He will answer them.” (PdRE 32)
People are coming to Israel to make a statement of support to the soldiers. How nice. They are visiting the army bases, etc… If you visit the soldiers at the base, pray with tears! Like the first Jewish war, where Moshe set up 1000 pious Jews to pray beside the 1000 pious Jews who were fighting the war. אֶ֚לֶף לַמַּטֶּ֔ה אֶ֖לֶף לַמַּטֶּ֑ה לְכֹל֙ מַטּ֣וֹת יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל תִּשְׁלְח֖וּ לַצָּבָֽא: (Bamidbar 31;4) When you are in such close proximity to the soldiers fighting, your heart beats so much harder, and your heart tells your soul: 1.2.3. FIRE! Yaakov Avinu had a sword and an arrow. Those were his prayer and supplications! (See Onkelos Bereshit 48;22)
Prayers in Israel are superpowered. It is a short distance phone call. Pray for the soldiers at the bases. Pray for them in the yeshivot here in Israel, in the kollelim. במקום רנה שם תהא תפלה (Berachot 6a)The faster we cry out, in unison, the more we pray, the faster ישמע א-ל, G-d will hear, and everything will be fine.
Stop checking the news! Keep on praying! When you pray Shacharit, Minha, Arvit, you are getting a Mitzvah D’Rabbanan. But when you pray at difficult times, or for personal difficulties, that prayer is a Mitzvah from Torah! Amidah can be only a Rabbinical mitzvah, while the Avinu Malkeinu and the Tehillim we are praying is a Mitzvah from the Torah! (Sefer Hahinuch 433) The Sefer Hahinuch adds, ומי שצר לו ולא קרא אל השם להושיעו בטל עשה זה, כדעת הרמב”ן זכרונו לברכה, וענשו גדול מאד, שהוא כמסיר השגחת השם מעליו. Someone who is going through some difficulty in life and does not call out to G-d to save him… his punishment will be great, for he is removing from upon him G-d’s Divine protection.
My father, who fought in the Yom Kippur war, is crying, as he watches the videos of the soldiers accepting on themselves the Yoke of Heaven, before entering Gaza… He told my mother that even before the Yom Kippur war, which caused a huge wave of Ba’alei Teshuva, the soldiers did not have a spiritual awakening of the magnitude of what we are seeing now! There isn’t a soldier who wants to enter Gaza without tzitzit and a siddur. That is the bullet-proof vest they want! More than food, gear, the soldiers want Tzizit and Tefillin! Hello, Mashiach – did you hear that? A mother asked her daughter-Chayelet-soldier to find a nice soldier Chayal guy, that maybe she can marry… The daughter texted back to her mother, Ma! I can’t know who to choose from the soldiers! Everyone looks religious, everyone is wearing tzizit! I don’t know who is religious and who is not! Eliyahu Hanavi, where are you?
We know that even if the Mossad was not aware of the infiltration, G-d was watching every step of it all. He never, not for second, takes His eyes away from every inch of Israelאֶ֕רֶץ אֲשֶׁר־יְקֹוָ֥ק אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ דֹּרֵ֣שׁ אֹתָ֑הּ תָּמִ֗יד עֵינֵ֨י יְקֹוָ֤ק אֱלֹהֶ֙יךָ֙ בָּ֔הּ מֵֽרֵשִׁית֙ הַשָּׁנָ֔ה וְעַ֖ד אַחֲרִ֥ית שָׁנָֽה: (Devarim 11;12) Even if the 220-million-dollar enhanced security system on the Gaza border can be taken down when we are not noticing. But G-d never blinks, 24/7, 365 days a year, including Simhat Torah morning.
נודה לך ונספר תהלתך. We will thank You, and we will tell the story of Your praise. The word נספר has in it the word סיפור, story, and it shares the root of the word מספר, number. The only way to stay a story, is to keep an account of all the events in proper order. Hamas first sent the missiles and drones setting off the alarms, and then they infiltrated. This was very important. At the party in Re’im, there were 3,500 people, out in an open field. The attack was pushed back a day, because they knew of this party. They could have killed many more at that party. Where did all the people go?
Being that it was in an open field and the music was blaring, they did not hear any sirens of homeland security. But someone came over to the D.J. and told him that there were sirens from missiles and drones. He announced on the Mic. that everyone needs to run for cover, and he stopped the music. There were many who started booing him, telling him to continue the music. But the music stopped. And whoever ran away in time, saved their lives.
There was a religious family from Kfar Aza, on that day before Simhat Torah, that went to visit their parents in Jerusalem. The grandparents said, “Why don’t you stay with us for the holiday of Simhat Torah?” But the parents said, “We are part of the Kfar Aza community and we want to celebrate with our community Simhat Torah”. The grandparents did not give up. They said, “We are making food for you; just stay with us for the holiday!” They went back and forth, and unfortunately, this family decided not to listen to their grandparents, and went back to Kfar Aza for Simhat Torah…
They got home. And this was the last time they went home. The mother asked the father if he could open the door with the key, because she had to cook for the holiday. The father put his hand in his pocket, and the key wasn’t in his pocket! He forgot his key at Saba and Savta’s! They started arguing about how this could have happened, until they decided that they should go back and spend Simhat Torah in Jerusalem… after all, they had a meal already prepared for them!
Tell me that G-d is not watching!!!
Stop checking the news, because this is not news. The current events are just following the script of what the Rabbis and prophets have been telling us for years. The world will last 6000 years, a Millenium for each day of the six days of Creation. As it says אֲשֶׁר־בָּרָ֥א אֱלֹק֖ים לַעֲשֽׂוֹת (Bereshit 2;3) G-d created the world, in such a way that each day of Creation is a blueprint for a Millenium, one day for G-d is 1000 years for us. We are now finishing the end of the 6th Millenium: we are in year 5784. Mashiach needs to come at any moment before year 6000 (September 16, 2240, only 217 years from now), as we know that the year 6000 till year 7000 will be some sort of Sabbatical of creation, with some sort of destruction. (Sanhedrin 97a) The period from the time of the destruction of the Second Temple, and for the next 2000 years, is considered the days that build up to the days of Mashiach. (Avodah Zarah 9a) So we are prime time for him to come, more than ever before.
Signs of Mashiach days are Chutzpah, inflation, liberalism and atheism ruling, no one can rebuke (the founding fathers of America, themselves, took America from the Indians), people get together to act immorally and parade their immorality, Torah scholars are treated with disrespect, G-d fearing Jews are held in disgust by the “enlightened world”, everyone thinks that they have the truth, while no one really has it (Fake news). No respect for elderly, children behave disrespectfully to their parents at completely new levels (check out adolescents of today), and the person’s enemies are from his own home,… (Sotah 49b) Sounds familiar?
Metsudat David in Daniel 12;1 is clear that in the end of Days, Yishmael will cause havoc for the Jews, before G-d redeems us. The Ramban writes in Shir Hashirim that the end of days the Nation at large will not be religious… they will only have the Mitzvah of Milah left, that they keep. This is fantastic, because Ramban lived in a time where all Jews were Ultra Orthodox. And he prophesied, that in the end of days, most of the Jews in the world will not be religious, but they will still keep Brit Milah. How ironic that the Mitzvah that makes most sense that the non-religious will drop first, Milah, they are still keeping! Statistics from a non-religious Israel website writes the following: Plenty of pita you will find on Passover, Shabbat is the national day for shopping, and non-religious wedding ceremonies in Cyprus have become the new trend. No one is forcing, and it is not the law, and still, Brit Milah is one of the most popular traditions. 97% of the Jews in Israel circumcise their baby boys. The only question in the stats was why. 78% religious reasons. 13% said for health reasons. 9% circumcise, because that is what everyone else does.
How did the Ramban know the news, back then, without looking at the news today?
We have the Land of Israel promised to Avraham, in the merit of the Brit Milah and the Mitzvah of Shabbat.אם מקיימין בניך את המילה הן נכנסים לארץ ואם לאו אין נכנסים לארץ, אם מקבלים בניך את השבת הם נכנסין לארץ ואם לאו אינם נכנסין For this reason, before Yehoshua brought the people to Israel, he gave them all a Brit Milah. (see Breishit Rabah 46 9) The problem is that Yishmael also keep Milah! They also circumcise their babies!
Our Rabbis tell us that Esav is considered the שונא , the hater, of the Jewish Nation, while Yishmael is considered אויב, the enemy of the Jewish Nation. (see PDRE 28,הלכה בידוע שעשו שונא ליעקב Sifri Beha’alotcha 69) Every time we speak about שונא , we are referring to Esav. And every time we refer to אויב, we are referring to Yishmael. After the Akeidat Yitzhak, the blessing that Avraham received was וְיִרַ֣שׁ זַרְעֲךָ֔ אֵ֖ת שַׁ֥עַר אֹיְבָֽיו And your descendants will inherit the gate of their enemies (Yishmael).
We just need to keep on praying.