Excerpts from Building Bitachon Through Tefillah by Mrs. Chana Krasny.
Second in a series
Click below to listen to the audio (6 min)
Before we begin to talk about the actual tefillah, and how to get into the tefillah and how to grow with it, we have to start with a few underlying foundations that must be understood and put into practise in order to empower the tefillah to work...
Many times, people develop an attitude towards others, saying to themselves: “We’re all davening in the same shul, and we’re all davening from the same siddur, and we’re all desiring the same things, so why does Shlomo always get what he wants, when Levi is, nebbach, always without, and it seems like Hashem is not treating either of them fairly?”
One answer that many are unaware of is that there are certain foundations that have to be in place which will draw one closer to the Ribbono shel Olam, and will empower his tefillos in proportion to this closeness. People may mistakenly think, “Oh, well, they're born with the madreigah, or they're born with the yichus, or they're born with a mazel,” or whatever else they want to call it...
One of the reasons we eat kosher, taking into account that it is a chok (a rule without an apparent reason), is because the mouth is the kli kodesh, the holy of holies, of our entire being. It’s the one thing that separates us from the animals. Hashem created the earth and everything in it, and the only being Hashem made to speak was mankind. From the beginning of time, man was a speaking, thinking, being.
Rashi explains that when Hashem breathed the neshamah into mankind, He made it a living being, and His breath was of Himself, so we have an element of Hashem in our bodies. We have a tzelem Elokim on our faces, which is where the mouth is located, and we relate to the Ribbono shel Olam through the mouth. This is our connection and our kli kodesh. So when we eat kosher, we are sanctifying, in a physical way, the tool we use to relate to Hashem.
Eating and speaking are connected by the mouth, which is the element we use to connect to Hashem. These two functions come from the same place. Our physical body is sustained through eating in a continual and repetitive ingestion of foods. It doesn’t just happen once in a lifetime; it happens every single day, numerous times a day and, as everything physical is reflected in the spiritual, the neshamah also has to relate to Hashem through the mouth in a kosher way, through proper speech...
A person could technically say whatever he wants, but it is the kashrus, the purity, of our mouth which will build our Olam Haba and give us life on the spiritual level.
So that is one reason why some people think Shlomo’s prayers are more “successful” than Levi’s. Perhaps Shlomo is more stringent with his kashrus. He may also be very careful about his speech, and he makes sure that nothing treif passes through his mouth with regards to loshon hora, motzei shem rah, or on’as devarim.
Levi might not be as careful; he may be in need of a little more attention, so he’ll joke about other people’s behaviors. Maybe he’s a little insecure, so his mouth is not so tahor and as a result, he disables a lot of his power and ability to relate to the Ribono shel Olam, because Hashem’s shechina is so greatly elevated that He only draws near to those who elevate himself in proportion to their taharah...