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Out of the Foxhole


Recap Lesson One, “Out of the Foxhole.”

In this lesson, we drew upon the examples of Chanah and King David to demonstrate that prayer is ultimately an expression of personal feelings and ideas, through speech, to G‑d. All of its surrounding ritual is intended to enhance, not impede, this expression.

We explained that the underlying motivation that drives all forms of expression to G‑d is a desire for connection and closeness with Him. Prayer, we concluded, is thus relevant for all people at all times, regardless of the fortune of their current circumstances.

Probing further, we identified the two elements within the human psyche—the G‑dly and the animalistic—that engage with G‑d through prayer, albeit each in their own way. The goal of prayer, we explained, is to wage a war of close conversation between these two elements of our psyche and bridge them together in the act of prayer.

Finally, we saw the reflection of this theme in the Elokai neshamah prayer.

I look forward to discussing the most perplexing aspect of prayer—the science of asking G‑d for things—next week, in “G‑d Plans and Man Demands.”

Rabbi Yitzchok Kahan

 

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