STRUGGLING TO PRAY
(Courtesy: My morning meditations)
When you awake in the morning, learn something to inspire you and mediate upon it, then plunge forward full of light with which to illuminate the darkness
On today’s amud we find that one should have intense kavanah when saying uva l’tzion. The gemara tells us that since the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash, the world rests upon the careful recital of this kedushah. Unfortunately, many people fail to maintain proper focus during prayer in general.
One day in the beis medrash, as the prayers were drawing to a close, Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev zt”l seemed to be observing a group of his chasidim. While everyone was busy wrapping up their talleisim and tefillin, he made his way over to them. To their surprise, he approached them with a hearty greeting. “Shalom aleichem!” he thundered.
They looked somewhat puzzled to hear their rebbe offer the greeting traditionally given only after returning from a journey of at least three day’s duration. “But Rebbe,” they protested, “we haven’t been anywhere! We’ve been here in Berditchev all along!”
Rav Levi Yitzchak continued to make the rounds, shaking their hands vigorously, as if they were newly-arrived travelers, all smiles.
Suddenly, he turned serious and said, “From the way you were praying, it was clear that your minds were elsewhere! So, welcome back from Odessa, welcome home from the market in Lodz! Since none of you were actually here while you prayed, I was glad to welcome you back upon your return!”
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