Ashrei XXI

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“ קרוב ה’ לכל קראיו, לכל אשר יקראהו באמת  – G-d is close to all who call unto Him, to all that call upon Him in truth.”

The Ibn Ezra remarks that if an earthly king is distant from his subjects, he will be unable to respond to their needs. However Hashem is always as close to us as we invite Him to be, and therefore hears every voice that calls out to Him.

The Yalkut Tehillim 808 asks regarding this verse, “Is it so, that G-d listens to everybody?” The Yalkut  answers resoundingly “Yes, if they call upon Him in truth”. The question is, what exactly does it mean to call upon G-d in truth?

The Etz Yosef explains that it does not merely mean to pray with fervor and intent. It is obvious that prayer must be serious and genuine for it to be effective. When the verse states “In truth,” it means that the one who is praying is a person of truth. This has many implications. Firstly it means that he is an honest person and his word means something; therefore his words of prayer will surely be powerful. Additionally, Rav Miller zt”l explains that a person must be true to his prayers. This means that one cannot pray for health and eat poorly, or pray to be a Torah scholar and never study Torah or pray for livelihood, and never seek work etc. One must be true to his prayers. And finally, Rav Mendel Kaplan zt”l used to state, “You had better be careful what you pray for, it just may come true. One must be certain that they truly desire what indeed they are praying for.”

May we all achieve and recognize great closeness to Hashem when we daven. May we take advantage of the words of King David – and call unto G-d in truth.

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