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In the story of this week’s portion, Va’etchanan, Moses begs the Creator 515 times to be allowed into the land of Israel. Through this story, we can connect to a deeper purpose with the power of prayer.
If we understand and connect to the deeper consciousness of prayer, we can elevate ourselves to a different reality, where a different destiny exists. I’d like to share a story regarding the power of this tool:
A student had a huge desire to join the Rosh Hashanah connection in Anaheim with the Rav & Karen. However, due to financial difficulties, she felt it was impossible and did not know how she was going to make it happen. She had just received her Zohar and thought to test her new-found tool, so she prayed and begged the Light to help her manifest the Rosh Hashanah connection. She really opened her heart and took total responsibility, identifying where she had to change and committing to new paths. She felt appreciation for the Light, and was at peace with whichever answer the Creator had for her.
Less than two weeks later, she received a very 'random' call regarding an investment that she had made in a business. They explained that out of all of the investors in this business, she was the only one who had actually 'over-invested'! As a result, they asked if they could return the money to her. The amount returned, of course, was exactly what she needed for her Rosh Hashanah registration and airfare!
We do not pray because the Creator needs our prayers! How can an essence so incomprehensibly infinite and generous have the space or need to receive? Rather, through prayer we can elevate OURSELVES. We pray to elevate ourselves to a place where we can see the miracles that exist around us all of the time, to see beyond the space of our current vision.
As we approach Rosh Hashanah, one of the things we pray for is Teshuva, or ‘repentance’. When we engage in Teshuva, we take responsibility for every negative effect we have caused, recognize our mistakes and take ownership of our selfishness. It’s our way to restore the Light that is lost.
Moses begged and prayed 515 times. Do we beg and pray for opportunities to share with the same passion? Would we do it once, twice, ten times, fifty times, before we gave up? Would we make excuses as to why we’re not supposed to persevere? Unfortunately, most of us think we have unlimited time to do our spiritual work and we sadly lose our sense of urgency.
Our work is urgent, and if we pray with this urgency and passion we can draw tremendous Light to the world. My teacher, Karen Berg, often shares that each of our souls is like a thread connecting and drawing energy from the Upper Worlds. One thread can easily be snapped, but bind hundreds or thousands of threads together and you have a strong rope whose connection is unbreakable. Let's meditate for our prayers to come together as one, with a renewed sense of passion and urgency for rebuilding ourselves and the world through our individual spiritual work. Let’s create a vessel to receive the maximum amount of Light at Rosh Hashanah. We should never give up – even if it takes us 515 times.