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If all suffering and other issues for which one should pray will disappear with the times of the Mashiach, what will happen to prayer itself?

Evoking Prayer

Evoking Prayer

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Evoking Prayer
If all suffering and other issues for which one should pray will disappear with the times of the Mashiach, what will happen to prayer itself?

If all suffering and other issues for which one should pray will disappear with the times of the Mashiach, what will happen to prayer itself? For we can surely not say that prayer itself, which is considered a "limb of the Shechina"1 will be abolished.

Furthermore, the verse says, "On that day, the iniquity of Israel will be sought but there will be none, and the sin of Judah but it will not be found." (Jeremiah 50:20) Why will they be sought? Who will need the iniquities of Israel?

The answer is that there are four categories of suffering that evoke prayer. The first is when one is pained by the desecration of G·d's Name among the nations, and prays about this. The second is the pain of having sinned, for the greatest suffering is sin. Sin, in fact, is even worse than death for while death atones for sin, sin causes many types of death. The third is prayer for one's sustenance, and the fourth is for life itself.2, The "limbs of the Shechina" are enwrapped within the four categories of suffering just mentioned, so that one should be moved to pray while seeing through the veil of those superficial circumstances and elevating the Divine sparks hidden within them.3 However, when one is not confronted by one of those four painful circumstances, one does not realize that one should pray.4

This, then, is the meaning of the verse, "The iniquity of Israel will be sought" so that it could be prayed for, but there will be none. "The sin of Judah" - the Hebrew word "sin" means a lack, in this case, the lack present in any of those painful circumstances - "but it will not be found." Thus, on that day there will be nothing to pray for, and prayer will then be only to bring about unifications.5

For all physical acts that are done in this world are all alluded to in the Torah, and are all included in the World of Atzilut/Closeness6 The main thing, though, is to believe beyond any doubt that the words of prayer bring about the immediate reality of that for which one is praying.7

[From Kesser Shem Tov Hashalem, installment 81, based on Toldot Yaakov Yoseph, VaYikra 2
Translation and Commentary by Rabbi Yehoshua Starrett. Reprinted with permission from baalshemtov.com.]

Footnotes
1.
(Zohar I 10b) the metaphor there actually is wings
2.
These four categories seem in an order of descending levels, from the most spiritual to the most physical. One who prays for the desecration of G·d's Name is not praying for any personal salvation, but rather of that of mankind and the entire universe. Praying for having sinned, however sincerely, involves a personal salvation.
3.
When one prays with an awareness that one is indeed talking to G·d, he experiences himself being in G·d's presence. At that moment, one has indeed "revealed" G·d in the world - in his world. G·d was always there, but we did not see Him. So G·d puts us through painful experiences so that we call out to Him from our suffering, so that we may come to realize that the suffering was only a means to bring us to Him. Nevertheless, when one has indeed reached this level of prayer at which one is "at Oneness" with G·d, the prayer itself has becomes transformed from a means to the goal.
4.
Regarding this, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov said that one should train oneself to speak to G·d about everything that is going on in one's life, as if one were talking to one's best friend.
5.
As said, the goal of prayer is to attain Unification with G·d, for which suffering is only a means. But when mankind will reach this level, suffering will no longer be needed as a means, and prayer will then be to reach ever higher levels of Unity.
6.
This is according to Ramak's explanation; the Ari's explanation yields "World of Emanations" (Ed.)
7.
This idea was already presented in the previous section (#80)
Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov [“Master of the Good Name”], 1698–1760. A unique and seminal figure in Jewish history, revealed the chassidic movement, and his own identity as an exceptionally holy person, on his 36th birthday, 18 Elul 1734. He passed away on the festival of Shavuot in 1760. He wrote no books, although many contain his teachings. (Also referred to as “the BeShT,” from an acronym of Baal Shem Tov.)
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