Thursday, November 6, 2014

Meaningful Intentions

This blog post is dedicated to two special teachers: Rabbi Eliyahu Haber of Torat Shraga Yeshiva in Jerusalem and Rabbi Baruch Gopin of Yeshiva University High School MTA in New York City, as well as, their wonderful students.

Why would prayer change a situation that has already been decided on? What good can praying do, for instance in Tehilla's case, if Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Shmini Atzeret have already passed? It would seem that judgment has been sealed, and while we don't know the outcome, G-d does. So, why do we pray?

My brother-in-law, Meir, shared something special with me recently. I would like to share it with you.

Prayer is an act of giving. When we pray for someone to be healed, we use a person's full name and the full name of their mother. We are taught to pray with kavana, which means to pray with intention. A person summons up their emotion and their concentration and sends forth a prayer to G-d. "Please heal her." This is an act of giving. We are using our power of prayer, our emotions, and our strength to help someone. We are giving of ourselves.

This, in turn, makes a change in the person that you are praying for. A part of you is now linked to them. It changes who they are and with it opens the ability for their mazal (fate) to change.

We have been asked by many people, "How can we help? What can we do?" And we respond by saying, "She really needs tefillot (prayers)." Most people respond with, "Yeah, yeah. Okay, sure. But what can we do?"

This is what you can do.

Kavana (intention) brings all the meaning and difference to our prayer and our Torah learning. If we truly understood that we are conversing with G-d and making an actual change in someone's life, it would be that much easier to appreciate. By praying for Tehilla with meaningful intentions, you are opening up the opportunity for her to receive a full refuah (recovery).

It seems that "Tehilla's Heart" has become a movement.

Thank you to the students of Rabbi Baruch Gopin, who have taken upon themselves to bring kavana (intention) into their prayers, with the "No Talking for Tehilla" Project.

Thank you to the students of Rabbi Eliyahu Haber who have taken upon themselves to bring kavana (intention) into their Torah learning by not using their phones while learning, with the "No Phones for Tehilla" Project.

We are lucky to have you as part of our extended blog family. Thank you.

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