Thursday, March 12, 2015

Davening For Others

Although Purim is over, we can continue to take messages from this special time throughout the month of Adar...and beyond. I want to share one powerful lesson right from Megillas Esther with you.

Before Queen Esther went to face Achashveirosh, she told Mordechai she would be fasting and asked him to have the Jews fast and daven too. She had not been called by the king in 30 days and feared for her life. If he would not stick out his royal scepter in favor of his queen, she'd be put to death. It was terrifying.

At the same time, the Jews also had the threat of death hanging over their heads. As per Haman's decree, all Jews were to be killed on the fourteenth day of Adar. One reason for this terrible gezaira was because the Jews ate at the party of Achashveirosh. To be mechaper for this aveirah of eating and drinking, the Jews did not eat or drink for three days and nights. They were allowed to do other things that are forbidden on some fasts, like smearing creams and lotions because that was not part of their original sin. When they fasted and davened, they did teshuva and returned to Hashem with all their hearts, accepting the Torah upon themselves with love.

It is interesting that when Esther sent the message to Mordechai to have everyone fast, the words used are, "tzumu alay"-fast for me. Why did she say "for me"? 

We know, "hamispalel b'ad chaveiro..." if someone davens for someone else and they need the same thing, they are answered first. Why? How does this work?

In shamayim, they are so used to hearing people daven for things they need. When someone davens for another person, it makes a huge impact Up There.

When you daven for a friend, it's because you are in pain that they are having it hard. When Hashem sees that u care so much about someone else, to the extent that their pain becomes yours, that you take the time to daven for them, He looks at you and says, what about what YOU are going thru? I'm going to give you, the one davening, a yeshuah. 

Esther's message to the Mordechai was, if the Jews daven for me that I shouldn't die when I go to Achashveirosh and they are supposed to die, Hashem will save them from the decree of death! By focusing on Esther's pain and fears when they too are experiencing pain and don't know if they will live or die, Hashem will look down at them and remove the terrible gezaira from all of them.

Why do we daven for others? Because we want to have our own tefillos answered or because we genuinely care?

Why do we give tzeddakah? So that we should get the shidduch/job/yeshuah we're waiting for within a specified amount of time or because we want to become givers?

We (should) daven for others because we really care about what they are going through. We (should) give tzeddakah because we want to become more sensitive and more giving to others...not so we can get the yeshuah we are waiting for within a certain time frame.

May we be able to do good things for the right reasons, davening for others and watching those tefillos (and our own) get answered, becoming more sensitive and caring human beings.

Isn't that what life's about?

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