Tefillah Tips – Stages of Human Life

“Adon Uzeinu, Tzur Misgabeinu, Magen Yish’einu, Misgav Ba’adeinu”

(1)Master of our strength, (2) Rock of our security, (3) Shield of our salvation and (4) Our refuge.

Rav Avraham Ben HaRambam explains that the four descriptions listed above pertain to the four stages of human life. We are children, then teenagers, then adults and finally seniors. At each time in our lives G-d is there first injecting strength, then providing a sense of security, offering peace and salvation and finally a sophisticated sense of refuge.

Rav Yitzchak Isaac Sher bemoaned the fact that too many Jews that receive a childhood Torah education remain at that level even while adults. Our language skills, math skills social skills and physical skills all progress over time and throughout our lives. Sadly Jewish education is sometimes stunted after Bar/Bat Mitzvah or even after high-school. Why should Torah thought and education be any different?

My five year old daughter explains beautifully at the Shabbat table the difference between Jacob and Esau: “Jacob was right, and Esau liked to fight”. Hopefully when she is twenty five she will acquire a much deeper understanding of the conflict between the brothers, what it was based on and how it effects us until this day….

A parent always remains a parent- and our Creator always remains our Creator. From birth until death and every moment in between we are shielded, loved and protected by Hashem.

Although we sometimes feel that it is we that are the architects of our lives it is G-d that has afforded us the capabilities to succeed and we achieve when it is in consonance with His will.

As we mature in life – may we grow in our understanding of G-d and His Torah, grow in our trust in Him and experience all of the blessings he has in store for us – His children.

Shabbat Shalom.
Rabbi Ephraim Epstein