Your Special Prayers
As I was once teaching my class years ago, we received news from the secretary about a distressing situation which had occurred Israel. After informing us of the current conditions, the secretary added that perhaps we should keep it in mind during our davening and learning.
After received this news, one of my students approached me. “Mrs. Juravel, why don’t you daven? We will wait in the meantime.” Wondering why I should pray and not the rest of the class, I asked her to explain. “What do you mean that only I should daven?” “You see,” continued the girl, “you have been Torah observant since you were born and must also have parents and grandparents who are very special. But who are we? We are just becoming religious now and we do not have much to show for ourselves that should warrant our prayers to be answered. That is why you alone should daven.”
Listening to the logic of the girl, I said, “I would like to politely disagree with you. You have much more of a responsibility to davening than you believe. Considering where you have come from, you are especially dear to Hashem. You have gone beyond your natural environment and circumstances and chose to dedicate yourself to a life of Torah and mitzvos. You have left behind your family upbringing and previous lifestyle and chose to live as a religious Jew. In the merit of how far you have come and what you have achieved, you can say, ‘Hashem, I have gone above and beyond my natural limits; You too, please, go above and beyond and help Klal Yisrael.’”
And with that, I concluded by telling her, “Never underestimate the potency of your prayers. They most certainly pierce the heavens and directly reach Hashem.”
Our background is never to be viewed as a deterrent or limitation to us rising to greatness. And in fact, quite to the contrary, sometimes our past is our greatest source of strength and success.