29 Kislev 5782 / Friday, December 03, 2021 | Torah Reading: Mikeitz
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A Woman’s Prayer    

A Woman’s Prayer

A woman can accomplish anything through her prayers. They are one of the most powerful ways to ensure that her family has a life of peace and blessings...


 “Her mouth opens with wisdom…Give her praise for her accomplishments.”  Two lines jump out at me from the beautiful and mystical song that is sung every Friday night, “Eshet Chayil”. This song has so many levels of meaning and significance, but I would like to focus on the inference of these two particular lines.  When we hear these poetic and moving words sung to us each week, are we really grasping what they mean?  Modern society takes credit for the feminist movement, believing that just within the last thirty years we have been able to be seen as “equals” of men. However, the Torah has from the beginning of time not only placed woman as a man’s equal; she is actually spiritually superior to him.  This is interesting….we are superior yet we don’t feel that way much of the time. What does it mean to be spiritually superior and what responsibility does that title come with?

As a woman, you are a foundation for your family. Your attention and care help to cultivate children who will grow up to fulfill their spiritual and physical potential. Your support of your husband enables him to work to the best of his ability in order to sustain the family. If you also help to financially sustain the family, be proud of yourself that you can do everything you do each day. To realize the first aspect of your God-given magnificence, you must truly learn to appreciate yourself and allow others to show their appreciation as well.  This does not mean that you should develop an inflated ego. It simply means that you will develop a new awareness of your incredible ability to juggle all of the daily efforts that are required from you.  Have you ever cleverly managed your way through a particularly challenging day and thought, “Wow, how did I do that?”  Your silent partner, The Creator, gave you the extra support and armed you with the magic touch. Thank Him for it and you will see how you begin to rise to the next level.

Rabbi Shalom Arush  reveals the secret of a woman’s exhalted spiritual level. That secret is prayer. Rabbi Arush states that a woman can accomplish anything through her prayers. Her prayers are one of the most powerful ways she can ensure that her family has a life of peace, protection, and blessings. What type of prayer am I referring to? I am talking about personal prayer- an intimate and private dialogue with God. Through this type of conversation a woman can draw down tremendous blessings for herself, her family, and the entire world. What makes prayer so powerful? God created prayers as the vessel to draw every type of blessing into the world for ourselves and for others.  By praying for something, we can do our part to ensure that what we want to happen will happen. For example, if we are looking for a soulmate, we must pray for it, states Rabbi Arush.  If we want our kids to have a life of happiness and success, we must pray for it. Every day we do this, we are making a deposit into our spiritual bank account. Upstairs, everything has a price tag as well. We cannot get anything for free, not here and not there. This is based on the kabbalistic concept of “Bread of Shame”. Before we were created in this physical realm, we received the infinite Light of The Creator without having done anything to earn it. As a result, we decided that we needed to earn the light we received so we could truly and fully appreciate it. We can see this theme again and again in our lives.  When we receive something with little or no effort, do we really appreciate what we have? Or do we forget about it two seconds later? Look at a child- if he gets a reward after cleaning up his room, doesn’t he appreciate it much more than if he got it for no reason?
Let’s examine the story of Chana, the mother of Samuel the Prophet. Chana was married to Elkanah, who also had a second wife, Penina. Penina had ten sons, while Chana had none. This did not deter her from continual and persistent personal prayer. We can learn from her prayers several things: First, she used her logic and rationale to argue her point well. She asked why The Creator gave her breasts and a womb if they were not going to be used. This is a fantastic technique for us to use when things seem to be “blocked”, especially in the case of pregnancy. Rav Arush teaches that pregnancy is completely a spiritual occurrence, with the physical blockages only a result of the spiritual ones. Therefore, he advises, never ever give up praying. How many people do we know personally who thought they couldn’t have children and then miraculously were blessed with them? Second, she never gave up praying. Chana prayed for twenty years before she became a mother to the future leader of Israel. This also teaches us another important lesson with regards to pregnancy: Sometimes when there is a blockage, it is because God wants to bless a woman with a very high and righteous soul, but the only way to merit being a mother to such a high soul is to create a vessel to hold the light that will come down with that soul. By praying for a child with the right intention, a woman can merit a most beautiful and special soul that will add tremendous light to the world.
Sometimes it seems that our prayers aren’t being answered. First, we must examine our agenda and see if our request is really for our ultimate benefit. Sometimes we want something that ultimately will be harmful for us. Only God can see the big picture; only He knows the end result even before the beginning. For example, if we are looking for a soulmate and have our heart set on a particular man, we can pray and pray for him to be ours. If we eventually are not standing under the chupah with him, then we should know that he was not our ultimate match. There is someone better out there.  Other times, we have not received what we desire because of insufficient prayer. Going back to our price tag allusion, a soulmate or a child are quite expensive items in the spiritual realm, and we must be sure to make our daily deposit to acquire such treasures.
Ultimately, we really can’t know the exact reason why we did not receive what we wanted. However, our personal prayer will strenghten our emuna, the simple and complete belief that everything God does is for our best.  Through strengthening our emuna, we are able to let go of our need to control everything and we can trust that the outcome will be the absolute best scenario for us. Today you can start to create the reality that you want for yourself and your family. You have the tools to make your life like heaven on earth. Why not start now?

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