13 Tamuz 5781 / Wednesday, June 23, 2021 | Torah Reading: Balak
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Continuous Connection

The Ramchal writes that the more one becomes entangled in worldly affairs, so does he distance himself from the Divine Light of Hashem. Hashem therefore prepared a remedy...


The most important objective in our lives is to establish a relationship with Hashem, to know Him and get close to Him. The Hebrew word for this is dvekus.


Frequently we get so caught up with the urgent that we don't have time for what's really important. We get so immersed in the rush to make a living and take care of our material needs that we begin to forget all about our Father and King.


In the book The Way of God, the Ramchal writes that the more one becomes entangled in worldly affairs, so does he distance himself from the Divine Light of Hashem. Hashem therefore prepared a remedy for this: that we should preface all our daily activities by first drawing close and standing before Hashem, asking of Him all our needs and casting our burdens upon Him. He writes that in this way we will not get mired in bodily matters and materiality since we preface our efforts with a statement that everything is dependent upon Hashem.


Divine Protection and Blessings


In the book "The Gates of Tefilah", Rabbi Shimshon Pincus writes that prayer is not limited to three times a day. The main character of Jewish life is to have a constant closeness to Hashem. Hashem is always right next to us at every moment.


It is written about Joseph: His master saw that Hashem was with him. Rashi explains that God's name was always on his lips. The Midrash comments: this means that when Joseph would perform any action he would whisper a prayer to Hashem. Therefore, Joseph succeeded perfectly in everything he did. Since he prayed constantly, Hashem was always close to him and standing next to him. He was never alone for a moment. This is how every person should be in this world.


Rabbi Pincus continues that prayer is not just among the holy acts that person does during the course of his life. It is the very essence of our life. The closer a person is to prayer, the more he is truly alive in this world.


Prevent Arrogance 

Rebbe Nachman says that receiving something without prayer is harmful since it makes it appear that success comes from you. This can lead to arrogance, severing a person from Hashem.


The foundation of prayer is humility. Rabbi Arush writes in the Garden of Wisdom that when a person acquires something through prayer, he is never arrogant, because he knows that without Hashem's help, he could never have succeeded. Attaining something by way of prayer is the sweetest acquisition. Not only does a person enjoy the success, but he feels ever so close to his loving Father in Heaven Who has so kindly answered his prayers.


Foster Closeness


The Ramchal teaches that prayer is Hashem’s Gift of Love to allow a man to elevate himself and draw closer to God.


The Rambam teaches that when a person thinks about Hashem, then Hashem is actually with him at that very moment. Rabbi Arush says: with prayer, with Hashem. Therefore, we should try to connect and stay connected. We do this by praying for each task and saying thanks for each success. This way we'll live with Hashem fully in the present tense.


In the Garden of Emuna Rabbi Arush writes that when we pray to Hashem continuously we develop a spiritual sensitivity that's conducive to feeling His constant presence.


Making it Happen


How do we overcome years of bad habits and locked in thinking in order to accustom ourselves to this new way of life?


  • Those of us who work at computers throughout the day can set up our email to provide periodic reminders every 30 minutes or so to pray before everything and say thank you for everything.


  • I remember reading in a book by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin that every time you hear a phone ringing you can remind yourself that it's time to talk to Hashem.


  • Periodically throughout the day, you can take a moment to stop and evaluate yourself. Ask yourself how consistently you have asked Hashem for help prior to each task and how often have you thanked him for the results. A good time to do this would be at each meal. By doing this you will establish a regular routine for making a self-accounting.


  • Whenever you are trying to make challenging life transforming improvements, the most powerful approach is to include this in your personal prayers. Ask Hashem to help you institute the practice of praying before every activity and thanking him afterwards.


Over time, this this new mindset will become established and elevate your daily thought speech and behavior.  This will bring you greater happiness and peace of mind while helping to attain your true life goal - getting to know Hashem and becoming close to Him


Stop, Think and Pray


The Chazon Ish says that we build strong emuna by praying for things large and small. The Chofetz Chaim Says that we should talk to Hashem like a child to a loving father or to a best friend.


In Rabbi Brody’s emuna CDs, he explains that Rabbi Arush uses this very approach. He doesn't take more than a few steps without first turning to Hashem to ask for help for everything large and small.


In the Gemara, Rabbi Yochanan wistfully declares:  if only we could pray the entire day! While it would indeed be difficult to pray the entire day we can pray for significant parts of it. We do this by maintaining a continuous dialogue with Hashem and by praying before each task whether large or small and thanking Him for the outcome. This will surely help us to achieve our fundamental mission in this world and evoke great Divine compassion and blessings.

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