I am writing this Tefillah Tip from the holy city of Jerusalem, the city of prayer and the historic and eventual location of
the Beit Hamikdash, The Holy Temple. On the plane ride to Israel last week, I was inspired when I considered that I was
travelling in the same direction as the millions of prayers recited by Jews around the world who direct their prayers to
Jerusalem every day and night.
At the conclusion of Ezrat Avoteinu we beseech G-d, Tzur Yisrael, Kumah Bezrat Yisrael, Ufidey…… Baruch Atoh… Ga’al
Yisrael – Rock of Israel, Rise in support of Israel, Redeem us oh Holy One of Israel, Blessed Are You Hashem, the
Redeemer of Israel.
As mentioned in an earlier Tefillah Tip, the Talmud Brachot instructs us to juxtapose the blessing Ga’al Yisrael with our
Amidah-Silent Meditative Prayer without any interruption. The Talmud also teaches – Great is the reward for juxtaposing
our prayers for redemption unto our Amidah in this world and the next. The question is why?
The Maharal- Rav Yehudah Loewe of Prague explains that there is a great difference between praying to G-d while
subservient to other kings and nations, and praying to G-d while in a state of freedom. He writes that when one prays
while under the dominion of a foreign power, there is no demonstration of the reality of G-d’s absolute power, authority
and providence because it appears that one is praying to G-d, the superpower, to save us from another power. However,
when one is in a state of freedom with no reliance and responsibility to any other power on the planet, and he then
beseeches G-d for his needs, this is a demonstration of belief that G-d is the ONLY force of the universe – Eyn Od
Milvado – there is nothing else but G-d. It is this act of subservience to G-d amidst apparent freedom from other forces
that deserves reward in this world and the next.
Therefore, as we reflect during Ezrat Avoteinu on the miraculous exodus from Egypt together with the crossing of the
Reed Sea and the drowning of our previous masters, it is specifically THEN that we supplicate in front of G-d and
demonstrate that our freedom from Egypt and any other power on Earth allows us to serve our true King and Master –
Hashem Echad – The One and Only G-d.
Take Home Tip – There have been so many times in our history that we were not able to worship G-d openly and freely.
A recent example from this past generation was the Soviet Empire where it was prohibited for Jews to worship freely.
Nowadays, in so many countries, we are blessed to be able to worship G-d openly and freely. In addition to shuls and
office minyanim, you can even find a Mincha on the Route 17 rest stop on the way up to the Catskills. Let us not take
these freedoms for granted, rather let’s take full advantage of the opportunities we have been afforded and launch our
spirited Tefilloth to the King of Kings and keep in mind the Maharal above that states, He is the One and Only creative
and powerful Divine force that exists. May all of our Tefilloth be answered.