Shooting in Bnei Brak.  How to pray?

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    • Michal 2 years ago

      In the past when I heard about horrors such as the murder of Leibi Kletzky, “a’’h, I felt like I was unable to function.  How can I really go back to work the next day?  How can I do anything when such a thing happens?    I could not understand how we can just function as if everything was “Normal”.  Sometimes I feel like the tragedies we see are just too much if I allow myself to feel the pain, and outrage of such things.  How do we go on in our daily activities after hearing of such horrors as we regretfully just experienced with the recent shootings in Bnei Brak.

      I asked my Rebbie, Harav Simcha L Weinberg, n’’y about this and he told me the following:

      Firstly, when things happen like this Hakadosh Baruch Hu is telling us a message.  We daven daily with the words of “Atah Chonein L’adam Daas” , for awareness.  To function chas V’shalom as if nothing has happened, is a rejection of the “daas” we ask for.  Even to talk about it and then forget is also a problem.

      He explained to me that we can actually use davening to help process such messages. He explained that we of course daven for Klal Yisroel to not be traumatized, but we need to daven for clarity in the messages Kavyachol is sending us.  “Remember, Yirmiyahu got his Nevuah  even as people are being killed and he’s devastated,  he’s destroyed but he didn’t lose his clarity”.

      He asked me how I would daven in this situation?

      He asked me these questions:

      • For whom is your pain?
      • What is the pain for the individuals?
      • Is there any way to measure the trauma for Klal Yisroel?
      • Is there any connection between the Petira of Rav Chaim Kanievsky to this shooting?
      • How would I daven for the 7 year old who watched his father die saving him?
      • Whom am I going to daven for?
      • Am I going to daven for all the victims who went straight to Gan Eden?
      • What about the many students of Rav Yechezkel?
      • Or, the widows and families left without a husband and father?
      • What about the Jews in the neighborhood who are going to have to guide their children with wisdom ?
      • What about Klal Yisroel who is already traumatized by this and the increased anti-Semitism in the world?

      When the person asks the right questions, the person will know how to Daven and for whom to Daven.   Once a person works on how to Daven,  and for whom to Daven, then the person is able to slowly but surely clarify the message Kavyachol is sending to the Dor.

      Rabbi Weinberg, n’’y suggested that I begin with a list of questions or ways I want to daven for the situation, and ask people to help develop it.

      So here goes:

      Here are just my first two that I started with …

      • I first ask Hashem to help me process and understand what it is Hashem is saying with clarity; without assumptions and quick judgments but to be able to really hear. So where would I daven for such heightened awareness?   I think I can use “Vihaer Eineinu B’sorasecha” under Ahava Rabba.  To love Hashem, means I need to know Hashem.   I can also use “Atah Chonein L’aadam Daas” for Hashem to allow me to really understand his messages and then incorporate them into my life through the gift of Bina, “Umilamed L’eenosh Binah”, so it becomes part of my service to Hashem and I don’t forget what happened.
      • I want my heart to be open so I can connect to Klal Yisroel and be able to daven in such a way that my heart is open and I can pour my heart out to Hashem for this situation and in all that I daven for. Where would I daven for such a gift?  I think I can daven for that in “Vi-ahavta Es Hashem Elokecha “B’chol Livavicha”, with All my heart.

      And as my Rebbie suggested, I ask for all your help to develop this list by replying with your approaches or questions  to use prayer to really hear what Hashem is telling us with clarity Biezras Hashem.






    • rabbigutmacher 2 years ago

      My personal experience of the terrible current events: whenever things like these happen, my mind and heart keep bringing me directly back to these passages that are constantly repeated by our Neviim and sages:

      My Prophet Isaiah had said:

      [Chapt 1: 16] Wash, cleanse yourselves, remove the evil of your deeds from before My eyes, cease to do evil.
      [17] Learn to do good, seek justice, strengthen the robbed, perform justice for the orphan, plead the case of the widow.

      Also my prophet Jeremiah said:

      [Chapt 7: 3] So said the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel; Improve your ways and your deeds, I will allow you to dwell in this place.
      [4] Do not rely on false words, saying: The Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord are they.
      [5] For if you improve your ways and your deeds, if you perform judgment between one man and his fellowman.
      [6] [If] you do not oppress a stranger, an orphan, or a widow, and you do not shed innocent blood in this place, and you do not follow other gods for your detriment.

      Rabbi Yishmael and Rabbi Shimon (ben Gamliel) were taken out to be executed. Rabbi Shimon said to Rabbi Yishmael: “Master, my heart is broken, for I do not know for what offense I am being executed.” Rabbi Yishmael said to Rabbi Shimon: “Did it ever happen that someone came to you with a case to be adjudicated, or with a question, and you had them wait until you finished your drink, or until you tied your shoe, or put on your cloak? And the Torah says, ‘[If you abuse the widow or orphan] if you abuse them at all, if they scream to Me I will surely hear their cry. And my anger shall be inflamed and I will kill you with a sword — and your wives will become widowed and your children orphaned!'” (Exodus 22:21-23) He said to him, “Master you have comforted me.” (Michilta Mishpatim Neziken section 18).

      The events have brought more orphans, and more widows. Do we pray and care for them on regular bases? Am I involved in my community with caring for them?
      It is as if God is waiting to see if we get the message again and again, not through prophecies but through the events.
      We need to penetrate our heart deeper and focus more on our prayers to achieve more consciousness for these suffering individuals. I would suggest two things:
      1 . When you pray to God imagine the Jewish people and yourself as an orphan or a widow, Hashem is our Father, Mother, Spouse. All the fears, the anxiety, the stress, the sadness and suffering will not exist if we truly felt Hashem as our Parent or Spouse. Express to God that this is how you and Israel feel towards Him and that we need Nechama, we need Him, we want Him, we desire Him, because we feel so alone and abandoned without Him being revealed in our lives.
      2. I would use the prayer of Sim Shalom from Shmoneh Esre. How can you comfort an orphan or a widow!? It seems impossible, it appears like Shalom is not achievable in the heart of these individuals. Therefore we ask for Shalom, something that we can’t bring in our own, only Hashem can bring that type of healing and sense of being Shalem in a world that appears fractured. Only with Hashem’s presence revealed can we be beShalom, and experience that sense of wholeness and love, when Israel is back with Him in His Home, the Bais Hamikdash, when the souls will be back from Techiyas Hamessim, and come home to the spouses and children. We ask Hashem that this sense of Divine peace should enter the heart of our suffering brothers and sisters , no other doctor or therapist can provide that, indeed we are alone orphaned and widowed without Hashem’s Shleymut, without Hashem in Yeru-Shalem. May it be very soon in our days. Amen !
      Rabbi G

    • Michal 2 years ago

      When reflecting on what Rabbi Gutmacher shared, I realized that the victims are also being subjected to terrible slander, and dishonest propaganda amidst the trauma of the act of murder on innocents, devastation to those who are now orphans and widows.  It feels like such a continuation of the trauma that has no words.  People are dealing with losing their loved ones in such a cruel way and to add an unconscionable added trauma is beyond words.  To use this time to make unfounded accusations, aggressive lies, calling the victims “settlers” and it seems as if the world sits still while oppression in the most ugly form continues.  The first thing that came to my mind when reflecting about this is to perhaps focus on the prayers leading up to Shemone Esray , of “Emes , Viyatziv.. and the words of Emes, seeking a world of Emes to reign and obliterate this type of evil in the world.  I think on a personal note, I think I know certain very special people that have risen up to help people who been made victim to slander and lies, who have suffered at the hands of oppressors.  I think perhaps I would place that in my davening by “Al Hatzadikim” and lift up those people who I know, who have done so much to help support and lift up people dealing with aggressors who are destructive as a shevach to Hashem.  And to ask Him to continue elevating them until good, and righteousness, truth becomes the norm in the world.  I also think we can daven by Shema Koleinu, for Hashem to listen to and make heard the voices of people striving to serve Hashem as the voices that are heard and no longer crushed .

    • Michal 2 years ago

      I want to add one point that Harav Simcha L Weinberg, n”y relayed.  He said that “To feel overwhelmed , that it is hard to function is not poor health, but an indication of good, healthy and healthful responses.

    • Raizel Devorah Masail 2 years ago

      I hope it’s ok to widen the conversation to include also the attack in Beer Sheva, Chadera, Gush Etzion, and Tell Aviv. What’s come to mind recently, sitting in Israel and seeing the repurcussions and responses unfold, is “Why do we tolerate this happening within our space?” With the spotlight always on Israel, politicians seem hesitant to do anything that would trigger a world reaction. It ends up being a game of “How much will we tolerate”. Upcoming to Pesach, with so much focus on our individual yetzer haras, it occurs to me that one can apply the concept of a maka from an individual’s yetzer haras to the nation as well.  In this time Man is focused on his struggle with internal darkness. We want to expand our internal light, refine out middot, perfect ourselves – yet this question of tolerance points out to me that there is an amount of darkness a person IS WILLING to tolerate within themselves. If they weren’t, they would jump up to Authentically do everything they could to kick out the enemy, the darkness. If Israel was not willing to tolerate terrorism it to would kick out the enemy. One thing I have learned from this is to ask myself:. What type of, and amount, of internal darkness have I been willing to tolerate this past year? In my davening, the first place I think of to focus on is the morning Bracha ‘Asher Natan Lasechvi Bina Lihavchin Bein Yom Vilayla’, between light and dark. There are many more places I can daven for this but the next place that speaks to me most at this moment is in Shemonei Esrei : Hashiva Shofteinu Kivarishona…. Davening for things to be restored to an original state where we are not as darkened and Hashem can rule over us as King with Tzedek and Mishpat. This is what I want for myself, and I can also apply it to recent events as what I want for Am Yisrael.

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