Tefillah (Mordechai Shapiro)

September 3, 2020

“לכל אדם ואדם יש תפילה משלו”

So much of the theme these days of Elul revolves around Tefillah. It’s one of the “Big Three” ingredients of our tried and true recipe for change; Teshuvah. Tefillah. Tzedakah. And while it seems that it is a very external component of our existence, it is in fact very much the opposite. Tefillah is actually part and parcel of our essence as human beings and it has been since the creation of Man. Don’t believe me? Take a look 👀:

א ל פ
ד ל ת
ם מ

The word אדם, when we open up the hidden letters of the word, spell מתפלל. Mankind was created to pray, it is our one true power. It is our unique advantage over every other living species. Hashem created us with the power of speech and it is to be utilized to join Him in creation through our tefillos. In fact, this was the first lesson that Hashem taught Adam Harishon after He created him on that first Rosh Hashanah. Adam saw nothing growing. The fields were barren. Hashem said, ‘If you want change, if you want growth, if you want ANYTHING, then you have to pray for it. Pray for it with your heart and soul.’

I once read a touching anecdote about the great Rav Shimshon Dovid Pincus, zt’l. When little Shimshon was just eight years old, his father was about to make his way to shul to learn all night on Shavuos. The budding talmid chacham wanted to join his father, but was told in no uncertain terms that he was too young and would have to remain home. As the elder Rabbi Pincus walked to shul, he had a change of heart, and decided to give in to his ambitious child’s request.
He entered his home and was surprised to see young Shimshon standing in the doorway, dressed and ready to go. The astonished father realized his son had clearly been expecting him, and asked how he knew that he was returning.

Shimshon innocently replied, “I davened for you to come back for me.”

While this story illustrates the pure simplicity of a child’s tefillah, it also sheds light on what makes tefillah effective.
He believed in it. He believed that Hashem was listening. He believed that he would be answered. We sometimes convince ourselves that Hashem is too busy running the world to listen to us, with our trivial requests and inadequate praise and thanks… He’s got bigger things to worry about these days, right? Actually, we couldn’t be more wrong. We are Hashem’s children and we must know without a doubt that we are being heard – and not only that – but are being answered as well! He waits for us to speak with Him, in a way that only we – with our unique abilities, strengths, weaknesses needs and desires – can. Daven for that parking spot! Daven for that shidduch! Daven that you understand your learning! Daven for your success and for the success of others! There is no end to what your tefillos can achieve. You want change? You want growth? If you want ANYTHING – Tefillah is the key and has been since the beginning of time.

Today’s song choice pretty much sums up the above thoughts in a fun, yet powerful way. From his 2019 album called Hakol Mishamayim, Jewsic superstar Mordechai Shapiro passionately sings about the unique, innate ability that each one of us possess. The song was composed by both Shapiro and famed songwriter Yitzy Waldner, joined with the lyrics written by the talented composer and lyricist Miriam Israeli. There are plenty (and I mean, a lot) of songs about tefillah and the power of prayer, so if there’s one that you’d love to hear, I’ll send it to you off-stage. For now, I pray that you will enjoy this one.

תפילה מיוחדת
לך מיועדת
היא אחת על פני תבל
,שרק אתה, שרק אתה, יכול להתפלל
תפילה מיוחדת
היא תלויה ועומדת
ואין אדם אחר מכל הדורות
שיכול להתפלל את התפילה הזאת

לכל אדם ואדם, יש תפילה משלו
לכל אדם ואדם, יש תפילה משלו
,עם תיקון מיוחד וסוד
לכל תפילה ותפילה, יש מקום משלה
לכל תפילה ותפילה, יש מקום משלה
ליד כסא הכבוד
כסא הכבוד

You’ve got a prayer somewhere deep inside
It’s gotta find a way up to the skies
Part of your destiny since the beginning of time,
All of the angels stand ready to bring
Your special prayer to the throne of the King
So go on and pray ‘cuz
He’s waiting to hear your cry.

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