Revitalizing Our Prayers

Our main work during Sefirat Ha’Omer in preparation for receiving the Torah is to improve interpersonal relationships. It's important to set aside time for prayer for Am Yisrael and to do acts of kindness. How can we energize ourselves to do that when we already have a packed daily schedule?

3 min

Dennis Rosen

Posted on 23.05.23

In recent articles and talks, Rabbi Shalom Arush declared that our main work during the days of Sefirat HaOmer, is to improve interpersonal relationships. We must learn from the tragedy of Rabbi Akiva’s disciples who perished because they failed to respect each other. We must rectify this by treating each other with love, sensitivity, dignity, and goodwill. 
Rabbi Akiva himself merited phenomenal knowledge of Torah because of his ahavat Yisrael (love of his fellow man). He proclaimed that “loving Your neighbor” is the overarching principle of the entire Torah. All our Torah learning, prayers and deeds should be animated by this principle. Rabbi Akiva’s disciple Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai taught that our main mission depends on our mutual love for one another.  
During the period of counting the Omer, we read Pirkei Avot (Chapters of the Fathers) because Pirkei Avot conveys guidance on how to elevate interpersonal relations, alongside many instructions regarding Torah study. Rabbi Arush says that someone who wishes to receive the Torah must make it a priority to work on ahavat Yisrael and all the interpersonal mitzvot. 
It’s clear that we need to bring this message of kindness and national unity into our hearts and implement it more fully and consistently. 
It’s  been two years since Rabbi Arush urged us to begin praying daily for the Jewish people, ideally for a half an hour or more per day. Many people have been doing this faithfully. Recent tragic events and bitter political disputes have been especially disheartening. Nevertheless, now is not a time to be discouraged. Rather there is an urgent need to expand and strengthen our efforts. Rabbi Nosson teaches that whenever there is a deficiency, there is a deficiency in prayer. 


It’s challenging to allocate time and effort to additional daily prayer, especially when we may already be doing an hour of personal prayer and have a jam-packed schedule. I find my own Evil Inclination is constantly implanting discouraging thoughts and inciting me to slack off. Maybe you are experiencing the same. We need to persevere in our prayers without waiting to be motivated by additional tragedies or tribulations for our people, G-d forbid. 
Here are a couple techniques I am successfully using to revitalize and enhance my daily prayers for the Jewish people: 

Bring Inspirational Torah insights into Prayer

Rebbe Nachman says that Hashem receives special pleasure when we bring our Torah learning into our prayers. When I read something inspiring, I put it in my notes. I pray to Hashem to help me internalize and implement these teachings and pray that others should do the same. Here are some sources that I’m currently using: 

Use a Tune to Pray with Happiness

Even when we are praying for something we desperately want, we should be careful to avoid sadness and pray with joy. In the book The Wonders of Gratitude, Rabbi Arush says that our prayers should be filled with happiness. He explains how Moshe did this for his 515 repetitive prayers to enter the Land of Israel. In fact, the gematria for the Hebrew word tefilla, (prayer) is 515, the same numerical value as the word shira (song). 

After reading this I began reciting prayers to the tune of various niggunim (wordless tunes). This energizes me and generates enhanced enthusiasm and joy.  

Talk About It! 

Let’s continue to immerse ourselves in a half hour of daily prayer for the Jewish people and encourage others to participate in this team effort. At the same time, I’ve found that most people view a half hour daily commitment as overwhelming, Therefore, I encourage them to start doing 5 minutes of daily prayer and to increase gradually. Even 5 minutes of prayer is extremely valuable. Rebbe Nachman says that a little bit is also good. A little bit, 5 minutes a day can add up to 26 hours a year.  


Don’t forget – every single word of prayer for every single Jew in the world is a mitzvah! There are about 15,000,000 Jews in the world, so each word brings about 15 MILLION mitzvot! You can easily manage a FEW BILLION mitzvot in just 5 minutes. 

It’s a simple calculation: 15 million * 60 words a minute * 5 minutes = 4.5 billion mitzvot for the benefit of Am Yisrael!  

The Best National Defense: Ahavat Yisrael 

Now more than ever, we need acts of kindness and ahavat Yisrael. Each of us must work on ourselves so that we can be role models. Each of us should pray for others to do the same. We’ll begin treating each other with more goodwill, sensitivity, and kindness. This will surely evoke divine compassion and protection and salvations above nature.  

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