The War in Israel Part 6 - Raising Our Tefilos and Brachos to Rumo Shel Olam

In the previous segment, we discussed the great potential impact of thinking “Adon HaKol (Master of all),” as we recite the Name of Hashem, over 1,000 times weekly – recognizing and internalizing that Hashem controls every minute detail of world events, as well as events in our individual personal lives, AND that He created the world to bestow kindness.

Many people undertook to put forth effort to grab this precious opportunity. They shared their experience of tremendous growth in their emunahdaveningbrachos, and life, through letters we presented in the last segment. We can all gain inspiration from those who have tried and succeeded, so that we, too, can take advantage of this crucial opportunity.

Hashem has provided us with the tools and the structure to benefit not only ourselves and our loved ones. We have the power and merit to benefit all of our brothers and sisters around the world. Our thoughts, words, and actions create the reality of what happens in Eretz Yisrael and all over the world. Though we cannot fathom how, when, or where people’s lives will be saved or changed for the better, we need to work on enabling this truth to penetrate our minds and hearts, deeper and deeper. That is why we are given the mitzvah of 100 brachos spread throughout our day, and that is why we have three tefilos spread over the three points of our day. At the very start of our day, in the midst of our day, and at the end of our day, we have been granted the gift of standing before our Creator, Father, King, and Sustainer.

Why are we repeating concepts we have presented previously?

The answer is: The lives of Jews around the world depend on the extent we can internalize and integrate this truth. Hashem set up this system by design. Let us ask ourselves if our kavanah in our tefilos and brachos, especially before reciting the Name of Hashem, is at such a high level that we don’t need to hear this message again. And again. And again.

We are all certainly trying to do whatever we can in any way we can to help our brothers and sisters. At the same time, we need to strengthen this particular method, because it was given to us specifically for times of tzarah, which we are in right now.

I believe almost all men who attended yeshivah were taught the Chazal that “Talmud Torah k’neged kulam,” which goes so far as to say that even one word of Torah learning (in the right way – which is beyond the scope of this segment), is greater than all of the other mitzvos combined. In fact, we say it every morning after Birchos HaTorah.

I think most men who learn Torah regularly and diligently can attest to the difference in level of their dedication and intensity of their learning vs. their tefilah and brachos.

To that end, I wish to share that I recently became aware of HaRav Chaim Kanievsky zt”l quoting Rabbi Yochanan in Talmud Yerushalmi, who holds that tefilah is greater. He has many sources in Chazal that he quotes (in Orchos Yosher) as to the great importance and impact of tefilah. Additionally, many others are of the opinion that although Torah is greater, in the times of the “heels of Mashiach” (NOW), tefilah is more crucial than even Torah learning. Clearly, there are great chachamim on both sides of this question. However, it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that we realize that it is time now to raise up our dedication and intensity of our tefilos/brachos to the intense level of dedication and intensity of our Torah learning.

The Chazon Ish was known for his intensity of learning Torah for many hours (I think it was over ten hours) consecutively. Yet, he made the astounding statement that he put more toil into his tefilah than even into his learning.

Moshe Rabbeinu was the greatest teacher of Torah. There is no greater deed than teaching Torah.  And yet, the Gemara (B’rachos 32b) states that tefilah is greater than the greatest of good deeds. The proof is from Moshe Rabbeinu himself. Although he performed the greatest good deed of teaching Torah, he still needed tefilah again and again and again to try to save himself from not entering Eretz Yisrael. Though his request was ultimately denied, there is no question that his tefilos were of major impact for the Jewish people.

Let us now put strenuous effort into raising our tefilos and brachos to the level of “rumo shel olam” (the most exalted place in the world – Rashi). May our enhanced efforts and resulting tefilosbrachos, and kavanah before Hashem’s Name, pour down great salvation and blessing for all of B’nei Yisrael.