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Dec. 15, 2017 - 27 Kislev 5778
Daf Yomi Shevuos 17

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Section: Stories   Category: Mashal
Who Did You Leave To Entertain Your Kind King?

Imagine a person is notified that the King has decided to go visit some of the ordinary citizens in his empire to see how he can help, and has chosen him as the lucky winner of the King's kindness. The excitement would be unimaginable. The preparations, the welcome, the visit, would all be done with trepidation and and care. After all this is the King, and this is his big opportunity to get whatever he needs.

Now imagine that on the day of the visit this person decides that he needs to go out of town to collect a small debt from someone he once lent money to. He obviously can't put a sign on the door letting the King know that he is out of town, so he asks his children and his servant to host the King in his absence. Hard to imagine.

But this is exactly what we do, say the Baalei Mussar. Tefila is a royal visit from the King, for the sole purpose of letting us ask His Highness for all the things we need in life. Yet rather that accept the King with overwhelming anticipation, we "leave town" as our mind wanders through our daily dealings. We think about that days business, the kids needs, and all the other inappropriate thoughts that bombard us as soon as we start Shmoneh Esrei. These thoughts are not in themselves inappropriate but the King is there for us to address them to him, and not ignore him while we solve them on our own as he stands and waits for us.

And who do we leave in our place? We leave our tongue and our knees, our mere servants, to entertain the King and recite Shmoneh Esrei while we and our mind are far far away!

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Visitor Comments: 2

CS, 2011-11-27 22:30:30
I've always had a problem with Mesholim like this, and maybe someone can help me. The moshul is that of someone who lives in a small village and one day- and one day only!- the King is going to pay him a visit! But that's not the case by us. We live in the palace, speaking to the King three times a day. Even King's advisers take vacations, and while I'm not saying we're allowed to take "vacations" from kavana, I just don't see how the moshul and the nimshul match. Maybe it's just me and if so maybe someone can set me straight.
ES, Monsey, 2011-12-03 18:38:10
I have two responses. Firstly, I would think of it like in Shema, when we say "asher anochi metzavcha HAYOM." The Torah also is the same as it was yesterday... in a way yes, in a way not. Secondly, "Mechadesh betuvo bchol yom tamid." The opportunity to daven another time is another zchus. Don't you get excited from the same thing often? Like a good steak, or fill in the blank? It's like we say that it's as if each generation destroyed the Beis Hamikdash if they haven't brought it back. Each time is a new opportunity. Try staying up for a day or two straight, standing the entire time, and then finally feeling the geshmak of laying down on a bed. Same with davening. The gemara says 3 things need chizzuk: derech eretz, talmud Torah, and davening. It takes training, just like everything else in life.

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