4 Tamuz 5781 / Monday, June 14, 2021 | Torah Reading: Chukat
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HomeFoundations of JudaismHitbodedut (Personal Prayer)The Invisible Parent
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The Invisible Parent    

The Invisible Parent

Mommy can make any pain go away- we can kiss the boo-boo until it feels better; but where do we turn when we need someone to make our pain go away?


King Solomon said (Proverbs), “Woman’s wisdom built her home.”  This is a very beautiful and grand statement about the potential of a woman. She is the foundation and cultivator of her entire family’s physical and spiritual growth. As such, we have a tremendous responsibility to ensure the well-being of everyone in our households.  What does this mean on a practical level? Aside from taking care of our family’s physical needs, we must also deal with their emotional issues in a way that seems no less than magical. Mommy can make any pain go away- we can kiss the boo-boo until it feels better, and we can stop the crying through our gentle soothing voices.  That’s what we want our kids to feel from us.  But where do we turn when we need someone to make our pain go away?  Even the best husbands can never truly empathize with our internal turmoil. A best friend can offer kind words, but that does not always make things better. Are we stuck nursing ourselves back to emotional stability without a support system?
Nothing could be farther from the truth. We all have a “Parent” who is patiently waiting for us to turn to Him with all of our hearts. Yes, you guessed it; I am referring to The Creator. Many of us believe in God, but we don’t really feel that on a practical, everyday level. Rabbi Nachman of Breslev, the great-grandson of the Baal Shem Tov, teaches us a simple and empowering technique to bring God into our daily lives. That tool is hitbodedut, or personal prayer.  Personal prayer creates an intimate connection to The Creator like a parent with a child. A woman who has had a hard day and no one to turn to can crumble under the pressure she feels if she does not have an outlet. Turning to God with your problems and your heart’s wishes not only alleviates the pain you may feel at that moment, but it actually helps your problems get solved.  This is not an excuse to complain to God. Hitbodedut is a type of prayer by which you simply tell God about your day, your good deeds, your difficulties, and so forth, just like a child would tell his parent. Confide in Him the way you want your child to confide in you. Ask God for help to resolve your issues. These challenges were sent as a stimulus for you to turn to Him. He wants to help you; you just need to ask. Once you see that miraculously your situation is resolved, you will come to believe and internalize the fact that God is right here with you, listening to and loving you every moment of every day.
A great time to do personal prayer is first thing in the morning, before your kids get up and life gets in the way. This helps your day start off with a great spiritual boost. Even if things get hectic, you will find it much easier to maintain a level head in the middle of a challenging situation. It is human nature to want to fix everything ourselves. We want to feel like we are “in control”, especially if we are responsible for a family. However, by setting aside our egos and admitting we can’t be superwoman without any help, we are actually allowing room for The Creator to step in and help us. If we feel we can do it by ourselves, then we are going to end up doing it by ourselves. God is not going to take away our free will. He will patiently wait on the sidelines until we call for his help. Then He will ask, “My daughter, I have been waiting all this time to hear your voice. Why didn’t you just call?” It reminds me of a funny joke: A guy wanted to win the lottery, so he decided to go to the Western Wall in Jerusalem and pray in front of it every morning. This happened for months, until one day, he hears a voice yelling from Above, “Just buy a ticket already.” Our ticket to success is personal prayer. Don’t let another day go by without it.

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