Dreaming of Moshiach

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Power of Sincere Prayers

They were an extremely poor family living in Bnei Brak. There was hardly any no food in the house and his children and wife were starving but Mr. Katz was embarrassed to ask for help.

When the situation was unbearable, he knew that the strongest weapon that HaShem has given is the power of prayer. He decided to pour his prayers at the Kotel and asked his Rosh Yeshiva for permission to be allowed to go to the Kotel for the day. The Rosh Yeshiva, unaware of his dire situation, agreed.

He scraped up some coins and purchased a round-trip bus ticket to Yerushalayim. When he arrived at the Kotel, he dragged a chair to a secluded area and began praying. It was a very hot day but the heat did not bother him. His prayers to HaShem were fervent and heartfelt, based on the realization that only HaShem could help him.

While praying in earnest, a stranger approached him and tried starting a conversation with him. Mr. Katz turned away from the stranger and tried focusing on the prayers. But the stranger wouldn't leave him alone and didn't allow him to have the concentration needed to pray. Finally, Mr. Katz, with hot tears rolling down his face, turned to the stranger and asked him to kindly leave him in peace. The stranger wanted to know what Mr. Katz was asking in his prayers and Mr. Katz repeated his request, "Please leave me in peace".

The stranger was oblivious to Mr. Katz' request and insisted that Mr. Katz tell him what is troubling him. Mr. Katz, seeing no relief in sight, blurted out, "My kids and wife are starving. We have no food and I'm asking HaShem to send us salvation. Now that you know, please leave me so I can continue praying in peace".

But the stranger would not leave. Mr. Katz begged him, "I didn't want to tell you why I'm praying but finally told you in the hope that you would go away." The stranger looked directly at Mr. Katz and replied, "You don't know me but know that HaShem sent me to you and I'm here to help you. Please come with me."

Unsure what to do, Mr. Katz decided to follow this stranger. They walked towards the parking lot and Mr. Katz saw the stranger entering a fancy car with a chauffer. The stranger calmly told Mr. Katz to get in the car and a little while later, the car stopped near a real estate office. Quietly he followed the stranger inside the office. The stranger asked Mr. Katz where he would like to live, and Mr. Katz, not believing that this is his salvation, sarcastically answered, "Bayit VeGan".
When the stranger asked Mr. Katz, "What size apartment do you need?", Mr. Katz was convinced this is some kind of a joke and decided to play along. He replied, "I need an apartment that has at least 5 bedrooms".

The stranger turned to the realtor, and said, "You heard the request. Find me immediately a 5- bedroom apartment for sale in Bayit VeGan".

Less than 2 hours later, the stranger and Mr. Katz re-entered the car and the driver drove them to Bayit VeGan. In Bayit VeGan, the car stopped next to a new building and the stranger led Mr. Katz to an apartment, a vacant 5-bedroom apartment. The stranger asked Mr. Katz to look around the apartment and to tell him if he likes it. Mr. Katz, unsure what was transpiring, looked around the apartment and said that it seems like a fine apartment. The stranger took out a set of keys and handed them to Mr. Katz, "It's now your new home, paid in full. Let me know when you and your family are ready to move in and meanwhile, I'll arrange all new furniture and appliances necessary for your move-in."

Mr. Katz was shocked. When he returned to Bnei Brak, he went straight home to tell his wife that their prayers have been answered. After telling her everything that has happened, he showed her the new set of keys he received.

He then went to the Kollel to tell his Rosh Yeshiva the miracle that just transpired. After telling him all the day's events and its miraculous outcome, the Rosh Yeshiva blessed Mr. Katz to successfully continue his Torah learning in Yerushalayim.

When the story of the miracle leaked out, many students of that Yeshiva decided they will also go to the Kotel for a day of prayers and hopefully, HaShem will send them salvation, just as He did for Mr. Katz. They approached the Rosh Yeshiva to ask him permission to be allowed to go to the Kotel for the day, and the Rosh Yeshiva agreed.

While they were praying by the Kotel, they patiently waited for a miracle but instead; beggars came asking them for charity. They were sure that by donating to the beggars, their salvation would immediately arrive. But no one was approaching them, except more and more beggars. Fed up with the mass of beggars, they returned to Bnei Brak empty handed.

They told the Rosh Yeshiva that it didn't seem fair that Mr. Katz' prayers were answered and their prayers and charity came back empty. The Rosh Yeshiva explained to them, "The difference between you and Mr. Katz is that Mr. Katz went to the Kotel in pure innocence to beseech HaShem for salvation but didn't expect anything."

"But you, on the other hand, anticipated miracles by going to the Kotel . Therefore, your prayers were insincere and futile and you caused blockage for your prayers to enter the heavenly courts."

True story which occured Summer of 2007, based on Kol Haneshama broadcast by Rav Ovadia Shlita.




והיה השם למלך על כל הארץ, ביום ההוא יהיה השם אחד - ושמו אחד ישתבח שמו לעד לנצח נצחים בכל העולמות Blessed is His name for eternity in all worlds אין עוד מלבדו