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Shabbat Parashat Vayeira| 5771

Ein Ayah: The Effect of Waiting Before Praying

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Berachot 5:86)

Gemara: The early pious people would wait an hour before praying. This is derived from the pasuk: “Fortunate is he who sits in Your house” (Tehillim 84:5).

 

Ein Ayah: Waiting is needed to align the nature of the heart according to the intellect. There are several differences between one who enabled his mind to have an effect on his heart’s nature and one who just used his mind to force himself to act in the proper way. The main one is in regard to regularity.

Once one has raised his nature in line with his intellect, he will not lose righteousness as “Hashem guards the legs of his righteous” (Shmuel I, 2:9). However, as long as one’s nature remains wild, even if at a certain time he is elevated to lofty levels, he can be expected to fall back. That’s why proper prayer should be done in a manner of “sitting in Hashem’s house.” The waiting brings one to a position of permanence in the way of the righteous, upon which it says “They will still praise You sela (forever)” (Tehillim 84:5), which hints at an uninterrupted manner.

 

Applying Prayer to Daily Life

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Berachot 5:87)

 

Gemara: One who prays should wait one hour [not clear if it is literally an hour or some period of time] after his tefilla (prayer), as the pasuk says: “However, the righteous will praise Your name, the upright will sit before Your face” (Tehillim 140:14).

 

Ein Ayah: The impact of prayer should extend not just during the period that the prayer is being said. Rather, the spiritual elevation and sanctity of the experience should sanctify the person’s normal activities, so that they should be focused on the goal of truth and righteousness, in line with the pasuk: “In all of your paths, know Him” (Mishlei 3:6). That is the function of the time after prayer: to connect one’s lofty thoughts and emotions during prayer to his whole physical life. The ability to accomplish this connection earns one the title of one who is upright, as he does not leave activities in the physical world but expands them and glorifies them by connecting them to true success. The patriarchs were able to do this and for this reason their ostensibly mundane activities are recorded in the Torah. They were called upright (Avoda Zara 25b), as they were happy with whatever Hashem bestowed upon them, as the pasuk says: “For those with a straight heart there will be happiness” (Tehillim 97:11).

The purity of a person who is able to integrate spiritual experiences into his mundane life allows one to improve himself from every experience. He is able to add on to the proper inhabitation of the world while still bringing himself true spiritual success because his activities are connected to lofty thoughts and emotions. While a righteous person enjoys righteousness, he should have the righteousness spread out into those areas that seem distant. That is what is referred to by the pasuk that “the upright will sit before Your face.” When you take that approach into the marketplaces, you show that Hashem is upright. Praise of Hashem comes from a glorious world of charm and beauty and refines the spirit of mankind, thereby bringing about true spiritual completeness.

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Dedication

This edition of
Hemdat Yamim
is dedicated
to the memory of
 George Weinstein,

Gershon ben
Yehudah Mayer,
a lover of the Jewish Nation Torah and Land

 

and
R' Meir ben
Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld
o.b.m 

Hemdat Yamim is endowed by
Les & Ethel Sutker of Chicago, Illinois in loving memory of
Max and Mary Sutker and
Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l.

 

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