Tzvi Ilan ben Gita update: Ilan is home! Baruch Rofeh Cholim (Blessed the Healer of the sick). He has been released from the Rehab center and is now back home attending out-patient rehab. His walking and talking continue to improve, but he still has a lot of work ahead of him. This will be my last update on this forum as changes from now on are likely to be both less dramatic and harder to qualify. Thank you to everyone for your continued prayers and support – it has made all the difference.
Kli Yakar Genesis: Chayei Sarah
Instant Divine Gratification
Jews are supposed to pray three times a day. Morning, afternoon and night. There is a Rabbinic tradition that each Forefather was responsible for the establishment of a different prayer. Abraham was responsible for the morning prayer, Isaac for the afternoon one and Jacob for the night one.
For most people who care to participate in communal prayer, the morning and night ones are typically the easiest. There are early morning meetings in synagogues around the world to fit the schedule of most normal people. There are typically opportunities at the end of the day to catch the night prayer. The afternoon prayer though can get tricky (especially during winter months when the afternoon hours are limited).
Though liturgically the shortest prayer, logistically, the afternoon prayer can be the hardest, as it means stopping what we are doing in what is often the middle of meetings, work, school or travel. I have heard that therefore, one gets the most ‘reward’ for the afternoon prayer (don’t recall the source, so if anyone knows please send my way).
The Kli Yakar takes this idea a step further (and brings sources).
“A man should always be cautious with the afternoon prayer, for Elijah (the Prophet) was only answered for his afternoon prayer.”
Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Berachot 6b.
The Kli Yakar then gives metaphysical reasons for why the afternoon prayer is the most powerful one and brings as further proof that the moment Isaac finished his prayer, he was answered:
“And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide; and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, there were camels coming.” Genesis 24:63
Isaac was praying at that moment for none other than a bride. As soon as he lifted his eyes from prayer, she was there, arriving on the caravan with Abraham’s servant.
The Kli Yakar states that this is the prime example of the power of the afternoon prayer. The second we finish it, God may answer us.
May we realize the power of our talks with God and take them seriously.
In Memory of Yaakov/Jerry Epstein, father of our friends Rafi Epstein, Shira Sher and Rachel Wolf. He was a sweet singer in Israel, silenced while still in his prime.
In Memory of Rebbetzin Alta Shmidman, grandmother of our friend Avi Shmidman. The matriarch of an exceptional family.