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"
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.,
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.
However, when one is not confronted by one of those four painful circumstances,
one does not realize that one should pray.
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.
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/Closeness
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.
[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.]