I am passing on this message from today's Hakhel post.
THE POWER OF A TZIBBUR: Any Tzibbur, acting together, can bring about Refuos and Yeshuos (healings and deliverances) that all of K’lal Yisroel, acting individually, may not necessarily accomplish. The Gemara in Rosh Hashana (18A) teaches that Hashem is ready to accept the Teshuva of a Tzibbur the whole year the same way that he accepts the Teshuva of an individual in the Aseres Y’mei Teshuvah.
In the Megilla, we learn from the words of Lech K’nos ( 4:16 ) that Mordechai and Esther elected to gather all of the Jews in Shushan to daven, instead of asking everyone to do something on his own.
The power of Tefilla is immeasurable. It can break the harshest of decrees. Our cries brought about Yetzias Mitzraim. Moshe Rabbeinu’s pleas broke the decree of destruction at the time of the golden calf and brought us victory against Amalek. In fact, our Tefillos broke Haman’s decree to destroy the entire Jewish people during this time of year.
OUR GOAL: HAVE KAVANA IN THE FIRST BROCHA OF SHEMONE ESREI: According to the Shulchan Aruch (101:1), one is required to have Kavanna in the first Bracha of Shemone Esrei. According to the Mishna Berurah, this means that one should not daven at all until he feels that he will have Kavanna in the first Bracha of Shemone Esrei. This is how important the first Bracha is.
Our goal is to activate the power of Tzibbur and the power of Tefilla together by asking each member of the Tzibbur to have Kavanna in the first Bracha of Shemone Esrei when davening each day from today, through Purim. Please especially have Kavanna when reciting the words “Ozer” (Helper), “U’Moshia” (Savior), “U’Magen” (Shield):
Ozer--a Helper, who thwarts an existing immediate danger from overpowering a person (example: you have already been attacked and the attacker is defeated);
Moshia--a Savior, who cancels danger threatening to overpower a person (example: prior to his attacking, the attacker runs away);
Mogen--a Shield, who prevents trouble from reaching you in the first place (example: the attacker never leaves home).
See Michtav M’Eliyahu 4:65 as brought in Praying with Fire (page 117).
IMAGINE THE Z’CHUSIM: The z’chusim which can be created by the thousands of us getting together to have Kavanna--in the first Bracha of Shemone Esrei, are literally astounding. Davening properly, that is, having Kavanna for the simple translation of the words of the first Bracha, which we are all capable of doing with little effort, can convert a Shemone Esrei that perhaps should not have been said, into a true prayer to Hashem. The results will B’EH be Refuos and Yeshuos for K’lal Yisroel.