Halacha for Wednesday 22 Shevat 5778 February 7 2018

Prayer

The Rambam writes (in his commentary on Chapter 1 of Masechet Avot, Mishnah 8) that even when one is in the midst of terrible suffering, one must strengthen one’s self and one may not give up hope of praying to Hashem and being saved by Him, for Hashem’s mercy is boundless and his salvation comes in the blink of an eye.

One must know that sometimes, in Heaven they wish to do good to a person, however, this depends on the individual’s prayer, for if one prays, one shall merit salvation, success, and the like. However, if one does not pray, the goodness will remain in Heaven and the individual will not receive it.

Why Did Moshe Rabbeinu Remain Hard of Speech?
Indeed, we find this idea regarding the greatest of all prophets, Moshe Rabbeinu. When Hashem commanded him to go and redeem the Jewish nation from Egypt, he told Hashem (Shemot 4), “Please Hashem, I am not a man of words, not from yesterday, nor from the day before that, nor from when you have spoken to your servant, for I am heavy of speech and of a heavy tongue.” This means that Moshe Rabbeinu claimed to Hashem that he would not be a successful messenger in speaking to Pharaoh and in front of the Jewish nation since he was hard of speech and it is not befitting for such a person to serve as the redeemer of the Jewish nation.

Hashem responds that in spite of this, He would help Moshe and make sure his mission was successful and he would then redeem the Jewish nation from Egypt.

This seems somewhat difficult to understand since the verse (Shmuel 1, 14) states, “For there is no restraint to Hashem to save by many or by few”; if so Hashem could have easily healed Moshe Rabbeinu and cause his speech impediment to disappear. Why would Hashem leave Moshe Rabbeinu with such a deficiency until the end of his life?

The Ramban, in his commentary on the Torah, provides the answer for this question and writes that Hashem told Moshe, “I do everything and I can heal you but since you did not pray to me about this issue, you shall be successful in your mission without Me healing you.”

This means that even this issue, which seems especially straightforward, that if Hashem performed so many miracles through Moshe Rabbeinu, it seems understood that Hashem should heal him from his speech impediment, nevertheless, one prayer from Moshe Rabbeinu was missing so that he would merit a full recovery.

Similarly, we find that before Hashem redeemed the Jewish nation from Egypt, the verse states, “And Hashem heard their cries” and the saintly Ohr Ha’Chaim explains that prayer in the midst of suffering is especially accepted and thus, the verse later states, “And their cries ascended to Hashem.”

We see how much goodness one can obtain as a result of prayer and one should constantly turn to Hashem and request one’s needs. Such behavior will engender a lifestyle of love of Torah and fear of Heaven since one will be in constant contact with one’s Creator.

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