19 Av 5781 / Wednesday, July 28, 2021 | Torah Reading: Eikev
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Knowledge is Power - A New Light    

Knowledge is Power - A New Light

A person needs daat - knowledge - more than anything else. Knowledge means knowing Hashem! Living a good life is completely dependent on a person's knowledge.


In this chapter of A New Light, Rabbi Arush highlights the  vital  importance  of requesting knowledge from Hashem  in  the fourth  blessing  of  the  Shemoneh Esrei. He encourages us to make this a special interest item and say it with intense devotion and intent. This is because a person needs  daat -  knowledge  - more than anything else in the world.  



What is knowledge? Knowledge means knowing Hashem! Living a good life is completely dependent on a person's knowledge. 

Rabbi Arush says it’s possible and necessary to review the words of the blessing repeatedly and each time draw forth new meaning, intentions, and ideas.  

Rabbi Arush recommends that we repeat the words of the blessing multiple times, slowly and with feeling. In a minute, you can repeat the words four to six times. It's very important to emphasize that this refers only to the words up to the end of the blessing, but not the end itself, because it is forbidden to recite the words at the end of the blessing that contain Hashem’s holy name more than once. If you really want results, you need to put focus and energy into your prayers – not just recite the words without feeling. However, if you invest even a minute a day to focus your intentions on this prayer, you will build vessels, your prayers will bear fruit, and you will see wonderous changes. 



For instance, for this fourth blessing, you can repeat over and over the words “chochma, bina, v’daat – “wisdom, understanding and knowledge.” When you are finished with your intentions for this blessing, and are ready to continue on to the next blessing, then say “Baruch ata Hashem…” “Blessed are You” – finish the blessing, and move on to the next paragraph. 



Rabbi Arush gives numerous examples of various things that we should pray for while we say this fourth blessing, asking G-d to give us wisdom, knowledge and understanding of all aspects of the truth: 

Ask Hashem to get to know and recognize Him, which is the purpose of creation. 

Ask Hashem to know the entire Torah, and to know Hashem by means of knowing His Torah. Ask Hashem to help you understand every holy book that you learn in line with the truth of the Torah. 

Ask Hashem to truly know that there is no one but Him. 

Ask Hashem to truly know there is no bad in the world. 

Ask Hashem to always know what Hashem wants from you and what He is hinting to you in everything you experience. 

Ask Hashem to find Hashem and know Hashem in everything in your life. 

Think about every one of your children. Pray for each of them, and ask Hashem give them knowledge and intent so they will attain emuna and know Torah. 

Think about your relatives and friends, and the entire nation of Israel, and the entire world. Pray that they too should get to know G-d, learn emuna, believe in Him and speak to Him every day. 


I recommend printing this list and adding some of your own insights. Then keep it in your siddur (prayerbook) and contemplate one of these concepts each time you request knowledge from Hashem in the Shemoneh Esrei. If you can, try to focus on this prayer for up to 20 minutes at least once a day, during whichever of the three prayer times you have more time to focus on it. 

Connect the Dots 

Next, Rabbi Arush reviews each blessing of the Shemoneh Esrei and links it to the prayer for daat, knowledge. 

For example, in the sixth blessing, when we request forgiveness, we must focus on having daat. When a person sins, he harms himself and grows distant from Hashem. Why does he harm himself? Because he lacks daat. After all, would a person who has knowledge want to harm himself? Our Sages declare that a person does not commit a sin unless a spirit of foolishness has entered him. A fool lacks daat – he doesn’t realize what he is doing and the full consequences of his actions… 

In the fifteenth blessing, we request the full redemption of our people. When we say the words, because we hope for Your salvation the entire day, we must have in mind that we want all people in the world to have  daat  and  know  Hashem, so that the verse will be realized, “The Earth will be filled with the knowledge of Hashem like water covering the sea" (Isaiah 11:9). 

Every prayer whether it expresses a request or thanks, revolves around knowledge (daat) and faith (emuna) because knowledge and faith are the purpose of our lives. For this reason, the request for knowledge is placed at the forefront of all the various requests in the Shemoneh Esrei 

To understand the Torah,