6 Tishrei 5781 / Thursday, September 24, 2020 | Torah Reading: Ha'azinu
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Healed with Bread and Water    

Healed with Bread and Water

The power of meaningful prayer is staggering. People often feel uninspired to pray, viewing it as an obligation, rather than the opportunity that it indeed is…


Transcribed by Devora Shifrin


“And you shall serve the Lord, your God, and He will bless your bread and your water; and I will remove illness from your midst.” (Exodus, 23:25). This verse refers to the power of prayer, and how it can impact all aspects of healing. By serving God through prayer, a person connects to the root of everything. Medications are made of natural herbs, which receive their medicinal properties from the source of all creation. The difference between a plant which has the ability to heal, and one that doesn’t, only exists in our reality. There’s no distinction between the two on a spiritual plane, as they are both rooted in the same core. When one recognizes and connects to the essence of all creation through prayer, healing and blessing can be drawn even from bread and water.


The power of meaningful prayer is staggering. People often feel uninspired to pray, viewing it as an obligation, rather than the opportunity that it indeed is.


Prayer is the service of the heart; it is the organ which represents emotion, such as happiness, or sadness. The following three obstacles are connected to heaviness in the heart and will create difficulty with prayer.


1. The constant desire for wealth, which will ultimately lead one to despair when his financial expectations are not met.


2. The excessive consumption of food can deplete a person’s energy.


3. Pursuing passions that heat the blood, such as sexual desires.


Every person repeatedly confronts each of these challenges; as an elevated connection can only be obtained by working on the areas that are deemed too painful to face.


When struggling with unmet expectations, especially with concern for money; it’s essential to have simple faith by planting a seed each day through consistent and reasonable effort and letting go of trying to control the outcome.


Following the principles of the Rambam’s diet will help any person who is struggling with overeating. His teachings recommend practicing delayed gratification by eating until ¾ full, as it takes 18 minutes for food to digest and communicate satiety. Difficulties with food present the chance to be grateful, as it is an opportunity to connect to God through the challenge and recognize that a diet can only work if it is granted by God.


When confronting the test of overcoming desires, Rebbe Nachman revealed the Tikkun HaKlali, (General Remedy), that can be recited to rectify spiritual blemishes, especially those resulting from Pgam Habrit, (failing to guard the covenant). Tikkun Haklali is comprised of 10 specific chapters from Psalm- 16, 32, 41, 42, 59, 77, 90, 105, 137, 150.


A person may face the following two obstacles when trying to pray: distraction and expectation.


Because prayer creates vessels for light and blessing, there will be resistance in the form of distractions; every item on the to-do list, each detail of the latest news report, or a recent conversation that would otherwise seem insignificant. Exit the mind and enter the moment. Practicing Hisbodedut, (verbal or non-verbal meditation), will help in the preparation for prayer by removing these distractions and becoming mindful of the present moment. Prayer requires humility in the inner work that it instigates, yet that in of itself is the key to meaningful prayer.


It is common for people to have expectations for their prayers and good deeds. It's important to internalize that although anything can be changed through prayer, the things that one prays for may not be beneficial for him at the present time and will therefore not immediately appear upon request. Don’t place limitations on prayers, and ask God for gifts and His compassion, which will undoubtedly result in immense blessing. By calming the mind and asking God for help in solving a problem, one can tune into that inner voice which will provide him with the answers needed.


One who understands that prayer is the key that unlocks the door to every potential, opportunity, and salvation, will make prayer a top priority over all else.



* * *

About Gedale Fenster - Gedale Fenster, a Miami-based entrepreneur and motivational speaker, is the founder and CEO of the People’s Insurance Claim Center and Evolutions Treatment Center. He has also established the Breslov Center, where he teaches. He hosts a series of daily and weekly online lectures at http://www.gedalefenster.com/

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