Wednesday nights - Rav Benzion's Tanya shiur..........Please continue to daven for the good health of the Rebbe (Yechiel Michel ben Devorah Leah) and Rebbetzin (Feiga bas Sarah).

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Daven That Others Do Teshuvah

I came across a wonderful mareh makom quoted in Nitei Gavriel. There he brings from the Sefer Tehilah L'Dovid who says in the name of the Arizal that throughout the month of Elul, one should have kavanah in the beracha of Hashiveinu and daven for those who strayed from Hashem and those who were "taken captive as children" and grew up not knowing about the Torah. "For these days are propitious to bring them back to teshuvah and Hashem's right hand is open to accept those who return."

How convenient is it that in the Radviller siddur there is a little addition to daven for exactly that. In the berachah of Hashiveinu in Shemoneh Esrei, before one concludes with "Baruch Atah" etc., one may add the following: "May it be your will Hashem, my G-d and the G-d of my fathers, that you carve out an opening beneath the Throne of Your Glory to bring back all of the sinners of Israel with complete teshuvah, and amongst them myself (ploni ben plonis) (and/or ploni ben plonis), for Your right hand, Hashem, is open to receive returners."

The note indicates (in the name of the Turei Zahav) that such additional prayers should not be said on a constant basis as a part of Shemoneh Esrei because while one is permitted to always add there own personal prayers, we don't want to add a specific, set prayer that Chazal did not include.
One who needs something, it is said by Chazal, should pray for someone else who requires the same thing. This is considered a very worthy and effective method of both having his own prayers answered, as well as helping another. During these days of Elul we all need help doing teshuvah.

While it is surely in our own hands and our own responsibility to return to Hashem, we desperately need Divine assistance in order that our teshuvah be meaningful and effective. All the more so those who have no idea that they should be doing teshuvah, and those whose hearts have become closed. In more than one way, davening for them is davening for ourselves.

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