The Key Ingredient – A Message from Rabbi Dovid Felt
Last week I wrote about the trilogy consisting of school, parents and students and what each contribute towards the development of our children. We also spoke about the need for synergy between these three components. There is, another aspect that overarches above all three and that is Tefillah – Prayer.
Chazal have taught us that even if one is in the direst of straits and the outlook appears bleak- Prayer can always turn things around. If prayer can have an impact when things are at their worst, it can certainly have an impact when things are going well (a time that needs less divine intervention).
During a Haskafah class this past Sunday a student turned to the class and sincerely expressed that he isn’t motivated to Daven as B”H things are doing well in his life – sure there are things he would like but he doesn’t have any serious problems. Another student shared that he finds it difficult to Daven because “why am I only communicating with HKB”H when I need something”. I used this opportunity to share with the boys a fundamental concept one of my Rebbeim taught me when I was still single. He said the best time to Daven is when you don’t need what you are praying for. He explained, that what you are doing, is building up credit in your bank account with HKB”H. He then told me, Daven for the right spouse, the greatest kids and a good living to support them now! while you are young and single. Baruch Hashem he was correct and when the time was right my Tefillas were answered with a wonderful spouse, amazing children and the best job I could imagine.
So let us take this time of prayer, the month of Elul as the Possuk tells us. דרשו ד’ בהמצאו קראהו בהיותו קרוב to “Seek out Hashem when He is nearby, call out to Him when He is near” (YeShaya 55:6). Hashem is closer to us during the month of Elul than any other time of the year [It is no coincidence that the school year begins in the month of Elul] and Daven for ourselves and more importantly for our children. We want them to be successful in all their endeavors and develop into frum healthy members of Klal Yisroel. This is a special time to be Davening. We get an especially high return now on banking some of our Tefillos for a future withdrawal like Davening for a successful life for our children. We can always find something to Daven for and find meaning with. In fact, if we do find ourselves struggling to connect our Tefillas to something in our lives, think of others. There is no end to what and who we can Daven for.
At Valley Torah we took all of this and went one step further. We wanted to get our students more involved with Davening. As we saw from our students, teenagers have difficulty with Davening; so we wanted to help them find something meaningful to Daven for. We all want to be connected to Eretz Yisroel and we are all sometimes guilty of getting caught up in the daily routine of our lives and unless things are really serious we tend to neglect what is happening to our brethren in Eretz Yisroel.
So here at Valley Torah we initiated a program whereby each student was assigned a different soldier who was wounded in operation Protective Edge. B”H, the list is diminishing however there are still numerous soldiers that need our prayers. It is our hope, that not only will the boys find meaning in their davening but they will also merit in the Chazal that assures us – that he who Davens for his friend will be answered first. May we all be Zoceh to have the power of tefillah help us achieve “אני לדודי ודודי לי” I am to my Beloved [Hashem] and my beloved [Hashem] is to me (Shir Hashirim 6:3).
Learn your son’s schedule. Find out when he has breaks. Find out when breakfast and lunch are. If you want to reach him those will be the best time too. He doesn’t want to get a text or a call during class time. He definitely doesn’t want his phone to ring or vibrate while it is in the call phone box on the teachers desk.