Thursday, January 08, 2009

Track Changes & Formatting Tefillos


I absolutely loathe the Track Changes function on Microsoft Word because I routinely have to review documents in which numerous people have added in their comments and corrections. By the time I receive the document, it looks like a band of vandals directed by Jackson Pollock were unleashed on it and I am left to make sense out of it and prepare a clean copy.

My experience dealing with the Track Changes function, however, has helped me in understanding a teaching in Likutey Moharan. In Likutey Moharan # 30, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught:

We must accept rebuke from the tzaddikim, even though occasionally they belittle us in the process. For we must judge them favorably, since, “A person is not held responsible for what he says in his pain” (Bava Basra 16b) — and indeed, the tzaddikim suffer great pain from us. All our mundane activities and conversations are certainly evil as far as the tzaddikim are concerned. But even our good – namely, our prayers, which for us would be considered good — are also bad for the tzaddikim.

For our prayers distract and confuse them greatly, insofar as they are intermixed with extraneous thoughts, distractions and confusion of all kinds; and these prayers with all their attendant confusion come to the tzaddikim to be elevated. Therefore the tzaddikim rebuke us sometimes in a humiliating manner.

Tzaddikim receive our tefillos in a very similar manner to how I receive Word documents; jumbled up with sidebar comments and containing coherent thoughts hidden amidst the layers of confusing multicolored formatting. It is only in their in their great kedusha are they able to elevate these tefillos and bring them up to Hashem.

6 Comments:

At January 8, 2009 at 12:39:00 PM EST, Blogger Shorty said...

We always have choice - someone may express criticism with sensitivity, or harshly...we have the choice to receive the criticism as a "blow to the ego" or with the open-heartedness that it is an opportunity to grow. Not only that but we have a choice not to be angry with the critic too.

I also recently read a wonderful lesson on self conversations, and more specifically staying focused. When i find my mind "wondering", i tell myself, Just Pray. even if after every sentence i have to remind myself, to "Just Pray", i'm focusing on Just Praying and the prayer itself.

 
At January 8, 2009 at 12:41:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Great comment, Shorty! Thanks for the insight.

 
At January 8, 2009 at 3:12:00 PM EST, Blogger Yosef said...

I thought this was a beautiful and terrific finding of the "sechel sh'yesh b'kal davar". It's amazing to finding meaningful lessons and a connection to Hashem even in mundane things, it's a tremendous thing to accomplish this.

 
At January 9, 2009 at 4:19:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Tzaddikim receive our tefillos in a very similar manner to how I receive Word documents; jumbled up with sidebar comments and containing coherent thoughts hidden amidst the layers of confusing multicolored formatting. It is only in their in their great kedusha are they able to elevate these tefillos and bring them up to Hashem."

I'm not challenging this at all, but have questions I hope someone will answer:If the same suboptimal prayer went directly to HaShem, would He not find the good in it and in its sender?

If so, what NECESSARY process does the Tzaddik do to the prayer to make it function better? Surely, HaShem is aware of anything the Tzaddik "deleted".

 
At January 11, 2009 at 9:40:00 AM EST, Blogger yitz.. said...

beautiful connection & insight!!

 
At January 11, 2009 at 9:42:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Thanks Yitz!

 

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