Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Best Prayer

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Ads like this make me think. I'm not taking issue with the service, but with the ad itself, so please don't yell too loud. The idea of davening for other Jews is beautiful. The knowledge that you can ask others to daven for you or your loved one in a holy place is heartwarming. Definitely commendable. Giving charity for an added zechus is a wonderful idea, backed by generations of great Jewish leaders. That part of the ad sits fine with me.

It's the message blaring across the headline that made me do a double take.
Of course my prayers can reach the heavens! I am a daughter of G-d, with a direct connection available any time I open my mouth.

My fear is that someone desperate for a yeshuah (salvation), when responding to these ads, may be led to overlook that essential fact. People trying to peddle such tefilah-services advertise as if theirs is The Way to get what you need, effortlessly. Well, though it's true that some people and places are known to be especially close to HaShem, no one has a monopoly on prayer!

Ever heard the expression, "you get what you pay for"? Well, let's say it does work and you get what you asked for. If someone else did the praying, you still lose out on the connection to HaShem. Chaza"l say that one reason why people suffer in this world is to stimulate their relationship with HaShem. So let's say you email a kvittel to the kotel and it gets answered-- what a waste of a great nisayon! Again, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with this, but to insinuate that it is actually the preferred, most effective way... I don't think they have a right to say that.

By the way, the above advertisement was clipped from a respected orthodox publication. I often wonder why they print ads whose spirit is contradictory to the publishers' message.

Anyway... I'm not sure if I'm being clear, and I don't even know if I'm right on this call. So for once and for all, please comment!


nuch a chosid said...

good point!

reminds of a little story
a woman came to a rebbe for a yeshuah, the rebbe demanded 100 rubles for the yeshuah, the woman bargained, I can only give 50.. the rebbe refused, the woman got upset and said, well, then I'll just turn to Hashem myself, it wont cost my anything, and she left the rebbe's room
as soon she left, the rebbe said, she will have her yeshuah, when every one looked puzzled, the rebbe explained, she had forgotten that hashem is the one to turn too, that's why i demanded a big sum to get her upset on me, and turn back to hashem. so as soon she did this, i am sure she will have the yeshuah!!!

Litvak said...

Very good critique.

I see that you didn't comment on the chai rotel part of the ad. I think that also is worthy of some criticism.

Keep up the good work.