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Section:  Avodah   Category: Shmoneh Esrei
Part 18 Shmoneh Esrei: Shema Koleinu con't - If You Ask You Won't Abuse
Every person prays every day for something new that he needs at that time and instance, and he also organizes his words in his mouth (i.e. does not just spit out words meaninglessly), certainly for this one needs kavana, as it is impossible to daven without specific kavana and so he completely fulfills his obligation to daven because this is the ikar of Tefila which comes from the depths of the heart as it is written "MiMaamakim Karasicha" ("from the depths I call to you..." Tehilim 130). Another benefit he gets from asking Hashem for his needs is that he understands in his heart that there is no man nor Jew whose life is given over to chance or to the natural order of times whose fate depends only on his mazal, the skills of the matter, his diligence in his actions, and his watching over in his ways. Because the skills, diligence, and actions, everything is sheker. Hashem dictates everything.  "Eyn adam nokef etzbao lemata-ad she'machrizim aleya milemala"; " one doesn't knock a finger below unless it is announced (decided) beforehand above" (Chullin 7b). (i.e. all suffering is pre-decreed from upstairs)

In this he should take to heart how the obligation is on him to guard the commandments of the mouth of the King of Kings, the King of the world, because everything is from Him with hashgacha pratis and everything that occurs to him from damage to pain - everything is from Hashem and likewise everything that occurs to him from profit to pleasure was from Hashem. If so, why should he deceive himself? Why should go waywardly in the whims of his heart after the bribes (rat-race pleasures of this world) and desires of time, which is destroyed like a cloud. If he toils all day and all night but Hashem did not command it, it will not happen. And how could one ask Hashem for wealth, to make Him angry with it, and likewise if all his demands are from Hashem, he will not consider sinning with them.

For example, if he prays to Hashem for a wife, he will not think to sin with her and act immorality with her. Likewise, for children, he will not consider sinning with them, like raising them to "tarbus ra-ah", to be among the gentile children, to raise them in the ways of the gentiles and to separate them from the torah of Hashem. He would never tear them from the torah houses of the Jewish people in a way that he while his still very young they quickly teach them the French language, writing, mathematics, and dance like those of young men with young girls. The times of torah have diminished in our many sins, mamash not even one hour a day. Why would he daven to have daughters, to teach them the ways of pritzus in the clothing (style) of the gentiles and the other ways of the gentiles and to marry them off to men which are not bnei torah. Is it this that he will ask Hashem? Would a man ask his friend "Would you give me such a thing in order that I use it to cause you anguish?" Is this not far from normal? One who davens to Hashem constantly for all his needs will not sin quickly. Likewise Dovid HaMelech wrote "Put your ways to Hashem, trust in Him, and He will do." (Tehilim)

This is a short, practical version of Ya'aros Devash 1:1 which Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe zt"l condensed in Alei Shur pg.123. The original contains all kinds of fascinating mystical insights. The interested reader is referred to Ya'aros Devash 1:1, starting about half-way through.

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