Dear Readers,

Years ago, a young couple spent a few days as guests in my home.

Almost from the time they crossed my threshold, the husband was politely approaching me to ask for things that his wife needed. Could I possibly give him a warmer blanket? A softer pillow? A cold drink. A hot drink. From one moment to the next, his wife needed something to make her more comfortable.

Did I become irritated with this couple’s seemingly endless list of needs? Actually, no. Every time the young man asked me for something for his wife, I smiled inwardly and was pleased.

Let me explain.

You see, the young man making all those requests was my son-in-law, asking on behalf of my oldest daughter, who at the time was in her early stages of pregnancy and not feeling well. So, every time that my son-in-law came to ask for something, I was happy. Every request showed me how much he cared about my daughter. I could rest assured that once they left my home and went back to their own, my daughter was in good hands.

I think about that visit every so often when I’m about to pray.

As I stand before my Creator, I wonder if I should have the chutzpah to ask for this or for that (yet again). Sometimes, after G‑d has granted me something really “big” for which I am truly grateful and had prayed for a long time, I wonder if I should have the audacity to ask for the next thing that I, or my family or a member of my community needs.

And then I remember my reaction to my son-in-law.

We are all G‑d’s children. G‑d cares for each of us—for our physical and our spiritual well-being. And when we approach Him time and time again to ask for this and that, He undoubtedly smiles as well, relishing the connection, happy that we are taking care of His children.

In fact, this is really the essence of prayer. Biblically, we are commanded to pray and call out to our Creator, specifically when we have a want or a need.

Because every want or need that we are asking for is undoubtedly making our circumstances easier and will help us focus better on fulfilling our purpose of creating a G‑dly world, without the distractions of missing something important in our lives.

On Yom Kippur—the holiest day of the year—we ask G‑d to give us life, happiness, health and sustenance. We ask for our mistakes to be forgiven and to be given a fresh start. We ask for all this because as we say in our prayers, “We are Your people; You are our G‑d. We are Your flock; and You are our Shepherd.”

Wishing you an easy fast and a meaningful Yom Kippur!

Chana Weisberg

Editor, TJW