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HomeFoundations of JudaismHitbodedut (Personal Prayer)A Big Mess? It Takes Just One Hour!
 
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A Big Mess? It Takes Just One Hour!    

A Big Mess? It Takes Just One Hour!



Even if the house is upside down and the laundry basket overflowing, before rushing to organize the house, a woman should spend an hour in Hitbodedut...

 



Even if the house is upside down and the laundry basket overflowing, before rushing to organize the house, a woman should spend an hour in Hitbodedut. Afterwards, she'll have extra siyata deShemaya, Heavenly assistance, in finishing her work…
 
 
This article continues the theme presented in our previous article about Jewish women. Women play an important role in the redemption of the Jewish people. It was in the women's merit that we were redeemed from Egypt, and it will be in the women's merit we will be redeemed in the future.
 
Rebbe Nachman of Breslev often praised his righteous mother, Rebbetzin Faiga, stating that she merited Divine Inspiration (Ruach HaKodesh):
 
“For she was a righteous woman with Ruach HaKodesh. All the tzaddikim maintained that she possessed Ruach HaKodesh and had great intellectual capacity. Especially her brothers, the famous tzaddikim, the holy Rebbe of Sediklev, and the holy Rebbe, our teacher Rabbi Boruch, z’l, maintained that she was as one of the prophetesses” (Chayei Moharan 114).
 
Rebbe Nachman’s grandmother, Adel, z’l, the daughter of the holy Baal Shem Tov, also achieved Ruach HaKodesh. Instead of his sons, the Baal Shem Tov often chose his daughter, Adel, to accompany him on his travels.
 
Rebbe Nachman was once asked why his grandmother, Adel was privileged to attain such a high level? He answered: “Because she … asked herself, ‘What else can I do to fulfill Hashem’s will?’”
 
In the work Tanna d’Bei Eliyahu, which is attributed to Eliyahu (Elijah) the Prophet, Eliyahu asks: How could it be that Devorah the Prophetess judged the entire people of Israel? This means she served as their ruler, at a time when Pinchas the son of Elazar the Cohen was still alive. He could have judged the nation of Israel!
 
Eliyahu answers: “I bring heaven and earth as witness that it does not matter whether one is a Jew or non-Jew, man or woman, slave or maid-servant — the Ruach HaKodesh that one attains depends on the quality of one’s deeds. Because of her good deeds, Devorah was privileged to Ruach HaKodesh to the point where she was the most worthy to judge and rule the nation of Israel” (Eliyahu Rabbah 14).
 
From this we learn that a person's spiritual achievements are not contingent on his or her's status, gender, or wisdom. Our spiritual achievements are contingent on our having done good deeds with the sole of intention of bringing pleasure to the Creator. All of us, both men and women have the potential to attain the exalted level of Devorah the prophetess!
 
Real People
 
Rebbe Nachman states that the righteous became righteous because they prayed and sought God with simplicity and simple faith. Simply put, they made time to serve God.
 
All of these righteous women, Devorah the prophetess, Rebbe Nachman's mother, Faiga, and his grandmother, Adel, were real people. They had normal responsibilities; they had families, raised children and took care of their homes. Yet, as a result of their desire to do God’s Will they managed to make time to pray, to do Hitbodedut, to learn Torah etc.
 
The Power of Hitbodedut
 
We cannot underestimate the power of Hitbodedut. Rebbe Nachman said, “Hitbodedut is the greatest, highest level of them all!” “Whether great or small, it is impossible to be a proper human being without an hour of Hitbodedut.” “Through the means of prayer it is possible to achieve all the levels, and all good.”
 
Hitbodedut should be our first priority. Just as men, who are obligated to learn Torah, must set aside a fixed time each day for Hitbodedut, women must arrange their busy schedules to make time for Hitbodedut.
 
Some women ask, "What can I talk about for an entire hour?" Are we lacking problems? Do we really have everything we need? But women who devote an hour a day to Hitbodedut find that it's not enough. They want more! There are so many things to pray for!
 
I've seen women whose homes were totally lacking in mitzvah observance take upon themselves to set aside time for Hitbodedut and ask Hashem to bring them and their families close to Torah and mitzvot. The power of their prayers turned their homes into bastions of Torah and emuna. A woman's home is her private Beit HaMikdash, and she is the High Priest! Her prayers have the strength to purify her home!
 
Bina
 
Women were blessed with bina, understanding. They have the ability to perceive what each member of her family is lacking, and to beseech the Almighty to provide them with their needs.
 
A woman’s essence is prayer and emuna, and her prayers are important to Hashem. Therefore, every woman can actualize her potential through opening her heart and turning to the Almighty in prayer. A woman who takes her prayers seriously will soon find herself waiting eagerly for the opportunity to spend time alone with her Creator in prayer.
 
The best time for Hitbodedut is early in the morning. In Eishet Chayil, the chapter of Mishlei that is recited Friday night prior to the Shabbat meal, it says, "She rises while it is still night" The Ben Ish Chai comments that this is referring to an energetic woman who goes to sleep early so that she can rise while it is still dark and complete her housework before her children wake up.
 
How much more praiseworthy it would be if she were to get up early to speak with the Almighty; to devote an hour for Hitbodedut! Imagine how different her day would look! She would be walking with Hashem the entire day.
 
Women who wake early for Hitbodedut report that they actually accomplish much more, because Hashem is at their side! They view the world with clarity, without confusion, and are able to prioritize. Those women who are not able to get up early (especially after spending the entire night rocking a colicky infant!) should try to set aside time for Hitbodedut at the very first opportunity.
 
Even if the house is upside down and the laundry basket overflowing, before rushing to organize the house, a woman should spend an hour in Hitbodedut. Afterwards, she'll have extra siyata deShemaya, Heavenly assistance, in finishing her work.
 
We tend to forget the importance of prayer; the importance of spending time communing with the Almighty, as our Sages say, “What is of utmost importance, yet people treat it with disrespect? Prayer!" But if we have our priorities straight, we realize that without turning to Hashem for Heavenly assistance, we cannot accomplish a thing.
 
Yes, we must spend time learning Torah, doing mitzvot, helping our fellow Jews, but the key to finding that time lies in devoting time to Hitbodedut!
 
May Hashem help us learn to use the key of Hitbodedut wisely.




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  1 Talkbacks for this article    See all talkbacks  
  1.
  A big mess it take an hour
Nondumiso7/9/2013 10:02:59 AM
     
 

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