Over the past Three Weeks, we have focused on the brachos in Shemoneh Esrei that ask for the rebuilding of Yerushalayim, the sprouting of Mashiach, and the return of the Sh’chinah to Zion.
In the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation 5781 Tish’ah B’Av video, Rav Yitzchok Sorotzkin stressed this focus on davening for the g’ulah, our ultimate redemption. He mentioned that Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai stated that the “tachlis,” the main purpose, of the formulation of Shemoneh Esrei was to beseech Hashem for the g’ulah. In this time of the ikv’sa diM’shicha (the approaching footsteps of the Mashiach), our specific mandate is to pour out heartfelt and urgent tefilos for the g’ulah. The Arizal states that since his time, tefilah is our greatest need.
HaRav Chaim Kanievsky has been talking about how Mashiach is so close. His nephew asked him why, then, has he not arrived yet. HaRav Chaim responded that even when a guest is on your doorstep, he needs to be invited in. We need to ask ourselves: Is our level of beseeching and anticipating Mashiach on the level of “inviting him in”?
We are aware of the tremendous power and benefit of davening with a minyan. However, the full power of a minyan is not unleashed until the communal prayer is really communal. This means, we need to all be davening for the same common urgent need: that Hashem should bring Mashiach and return us to Yerushalayim and the Beis HaMikdash with His Sh’chinah present, so that we can feel His Presence, Divine Providence, and love at a tangible level, resulting in true Yir’as Hashem and Ahavas Hashem.
Often, we place our emphasis on the first few of the request brachos of Shemoneh Esrei, specifically r’fuah (healing) and parnasah (livelihood). However, the Chofetz Chaim writes that if we placed our emphasis on the latter brachos that we have been writing about, we would no longer need to daven for r’fuos and livelihood.
Certainly, we should continue to request our personal needs and those of other individuals for whom we are davening. It is a great chesed to daven for others. However, we should learn to place our central focus and intensity on beseeching and begging Hashem to reveal His glory, rebuild Yerushalayim and the Beis HaMikdash, and bring Mashiach speedily in our days. Let our eyes see the return of the Sh’chinah to Zion speedily in our days.
To access print versions of previous Tefilah segments, please visit OU Torah’s Search portal, select the Topic of “Tefillah,” and then select “Weekly Tefilah Focus” from the Series list.
For Rabbi Mordechai Finkelman’s video and audio shiurim, which are based on our Tefilah Focus segments but also include his insightful and inspiring additions, please visit TorahAnytime.com or simply search for “TorahAnytime Rabbi Finkelman.”
You can direct any questions or comments to Eliezer Szrolovits at 917-551-0150.