Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How could it be that a prayer goes unanswered? Tzvi Freeman

Often, we find that our prayers have gone unanswered.

But can a prayer to our Father ever go unanswered?

"Aha," you may believe, "sure every prayer is answered, and sometimes the answer is 'no'."

But that's because you don't understand the secret of prayer.

Prayer is when a consciousness below breaks out of its ego and causes delight to the Consciousness Above. And when delight is brought Above, it must return below.

You may thus conclude that prayer is always answered, but perhaps only in a spiritual realm. Not always can a prayer affect the coarseness of our material world.

Yet this also cannot be, for the consciousness below did not pray for a spiritual blessing, but for a material one. The place from whence the prayer emitted, to there the blessing must return.

Rather, it must be that every prayer is answered, in our world, now, for the one who prayed and for that which he prayed.

The problem is only in the packaging -- that it is packaged in the artifacts of our coarse and dark world, so that at times we cannot see through the wrappings to discover the answer to our prayer.

But there will be a time when all of us will return to the One Above with all our hearts, and then all the concealment of this world will be shattered. The wrappings will fall away and we will see how each prayer was answered in its time. And we will hold all the blessings of all those thousands of years in our hands.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Jewish Birthday - the Jewish way.

One's Jewish birthday is the date upon which one was born according to the Jewish calendar. Jewish tradition regards one's Jewish birthday to be brimming with meaning and relevance.

Birth is G-d saying that the world could not go on without you. It is the day that your soul's mission had to begin.

There were already nearly six billion people on earth when you were born. Did the world really need you? Can one more soul really make a difference? Obviously, the answer is yes; otherwise G-d would not have sent your soul to this earth. The fact that you were born means there must be some unique gift that you have to offer the world that none of those other six billion people could possibly achieve.

Your birthday is an opportunity to reflect on these truths, and consequently, make the necessary resolutions. Consider: This is the day that my soul was dispatched on its mission. How is the mission going? Have I been contributing my part to the furthering of G-d's purpose to create heaven on earth? Have I been doing my bit to enhance and improve myself and my world? How much time and energy do I spend on meaningful pursuits? How much time could I add to that amount in the coming year?

The Talmud informs us that on our Jewish birthdays our mazal (good fortune) is dominant.

On one's Jewish birthday it is customary to get together with family and friends to celebrate. At the celebration one should say a prayer of thanks to G-d, give money to charity, and learn some Torah.