Tag Archive | Kavana

A Deep Prayer

A Deep Prayer, reprinted with kind permission of:

A Deep Prayer

by the Chafetz Chaim zt”l

Likutei Amarim ch.11

The Chafetz Chaim zt’l implores his generation on the need for solitary prayer:

“In summation, all the many calamities that come on us and that we are not saved from them is because we are not screaming and outpouring in prayer over them. If we would pray and would pour out before HaKadosh Baruch Hu, certainly our prayers and supplications would not return empty. And it’s not enough for a person to pray the shemonei esrei three times a day, rather a few times per day, a person needs to pour out prayers and supplications in solitude, in his house, from the depths of his heart. Because the three prayers (shemonei esrei) are already fixed in his mouth and he doesn’t take them to heart so much. But if a person would contemplate in solitude and make a cheshbon hanefesh on his personal situation, his great poverty and his many toils, and for all this to live on crusty bread and water, then he will pour out his heart like water in front of Hashem, yisborach, and the prayer will go out with deep kavana and with a broken heart and a lowly spirit. A prayer like this will certainly not return empty. And then when his soul is bitter on him, on his situation and his weak standing, and he drops supplications before HaKadosh Baruch Hu, he should also remember the great pain of Hashem yisborach, because he also, so to speak, does not have rest. In all our suffering He suffers…”
Chafetz Chaim – Likutei Amarim ch.11

comment: Rabbi Avigdor Miller once said that “prayer today is in a rut. It has been reduced to a meaningless recital of words.”

Most of us don’t pray because we don’t think it will make any difference. We pray and nothing happens, so we think prayer has no power. This thinking is erroneous. The reason we see nothing is because our prayers lack true kavana (intent). Come and hear the powerful words of the Vilna Gaon:

“there is no crying except from the heart…tefila needs kavana and ikar (primary) kavana is with tears (Vilna Gaon on Esther 8:3)”

A serious prayer must be accompanied by tears, otherwise, you heart is not really there. So next time you feel down, maybe you are disappointed things didn’t go as you would have hoped. Or maybe you’re dissatisfied with life in general, if so it’s a golden opportunity to cry out to H-shem for help. Get the onions out and pour out your heart like water. Even if you don’t see results immediately, don’t give up because certainly, if you continue doing this, over the months and years, in the end it will certainly help very much.

* quotes:
The Chazon Ish zt’l said: “I put more kochos (exertion) in Avodas Hatefila (prayer) than Avodas of learning.”
(heard from Rabbi Nissan Kaplan in name of Rabbi Shmuel Auerbauch)

* My master, (the Arizal) would give two conditions for attaining of wisdom (in torah) – one is to minimize speech and to keep silent as much as possible, to not let out of your mouth any sicha betela (useless speech), as the Sages said “the fence to wisdom is silence” (Pirkei Avos). Two – for all things that you do not understand in the torah, cry over it, much crying. (Rabbi Chaim Vital – Pri Etz Chaim Shaar Hanhagas HaLimud)

* When saying ‘atah chonen’ which is the beginning of the tefila, one should put to heart..the entire creation of man is for wisdom and knowledge and this is man’s greatness. Therefore they said “atah chonen l’adam daas” – l’adam (to man) specifically. And this is a free gift, because what did the Creator of the world see to give to the man from the ground ‘daas’, to know of the heaven on high, and all the forms of the holy chariot, and the throne of glory (of G-d), and knowledge of the combination of Divine names with which G-d formed the world? This must be only because of great, endless compassion. And for this, a man should pour down tears like a river and to request understanding (deah) from G-d as a free gift. (Shemonei Esrei by Rabbi Yehonasan Eibshetz)

see also:
The Vast Desert of Solitude

A Deep Prayer, reprinted with kind permission of:

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A Call to Solitude

by the Chafetz Chaim zt”l

Likutei Amarim ch.11

The Chafetz Chaim zt’l implores his generation on the need for solitary prayer:

“In summation, all the many calamities that come on us and that we are not saved from them is because we are not screaming and outpouring in prayer over them. If we would pray and would pour out before HaKadosh Baruch Hu, certainly our prayers and supplications would not return empty. And it’s not enough for a person to pray the Shemonei Esrei three times a day, rather a few times per day, a person needs to pour out prayers and supplications in solitude, in his house, from the depths of his heart. Because the three prayers (Shemonei Esrei) are already fixed in his mouth and he doesn’t take them to heart so much. But if a person would contemplate in solitude and make a cheshbon hanefesh on his personal situation, his great poverty and his many toils, and for all this to live on crusty bread and water, then he will pour out his heart like water in front of Hashem, yisborach, and the prayer will go out with deep kavana and with a broken heart and a lowly spirit. A prayer like this will certainly not return empty. And then when his soul is bitter on him, on his situation and his weak standing, and he drops supplications before HaKadosh Baruch Hu, he should also remember the great pain of Hashem yisborach, because he also, so to speak, does not have rest. In all our suffering He suffers…”Chafetz Chaim – Likutei Amarim ch.11

Kind Courtesy of Daf Yomi Review

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