Sunday, November 16, 2008

Avinu Malkeinu (or U'vini Mal'kieni)

[When I found out the words to this song a while back I was shocked! It was so pashut! How did I not get it!?]

אָבִינוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ, פְּתַח שַׁעֲרֵי שָׁמַיִם לִתְפִלָּתֵנוּ

"Our Father, our King, open the gates of heaven to our prayer." (Avinu Malkeinu)

What are we trying to accomplish by praying? If Hashem knows everything, and He gives us exactly what we need at any given moment, then what are we praying for? If someone Chas Veshalom is sick, then that's how its supposed to be no? Hashem isn't making them sick for no purpose. I'm sure Hashem has His reasons, who am I to ask Hashem to change the way things are? Why attempt to change perfection? There are many answers to this connundrum (I don't know if that word fits but I like it so why not?) but I'll share with you one very fundamental one that I heard some time ago. I believe its from Rav Dessler.
When we pray, we aren't saying "G-d, in my humble opinion, I think You are doing things a little wrong. Let me help You out and tell You what has to be changed..." Of course not! Who are we to second guess G-d?! So the point of tefilla is as follows: According to where we are holding in our Yiddishkeit, (spiritually) at any point in time, Hashem is tending to our needs perfectly. So by us davening, we are basically saying "Hashem, I know You give me everyrthing I need, and I would be nothing without you, but I want to uplift myself by praying to you, bringing myself closer to You, and as a result I am not the same person I was when I started praying. I am a new, better person. So all those things that I've been experiencing, I don't deserve them anymore, I'm a different person now!" Sometimes Hashem may even send certain hardships our way just to remind us to pray to Him, to gain a closer connection with Him-because that is what we should be constantly working on.
That is one of many explanations- please, if you know of any others, feel free to share with the velt.