Rabbi Mordecai Silver, Ph.D., firstname.lastname@example.org
“It is said that anyone who has the opportunity to beseech God for mercy on behalf of his fellow and does not beseech Him is called a sinner. For it is stated that the prophet Samuel said to the people of Israel: ‘And I – also – far be it from me to sin against Hashem, to refrain from praying on your behalf.’”
To fail to act when one becomes aware that another person is suffering, and to refrain from using the one true means of assistance that is in every person’s hands, expresses a glaring deficiency in Ahavat Yisrael. This, in turn, erodes the efficacy of all one’s prayers.
The feeling of unity demanded by the Torah may seem to be more of an altruistic goal than an actual fact. However, Jewish history proves that it is indeed a fact – one that comes to the fore especially when the Jewish people face pain or persecution. Feeling for your fellow man’s plight is not only an immeasurable enhancement of one’s power of prayer, it is an essential. Furthermore, it is a reflection of the truth, not just from the view of Heaven, but from the view of mankind as well. Whether we see it or not, we are one entity, and it is as one entity that our entreaties find the greatest favor before Hashem.
POINTS TO PONDER
Neglecting to pray for your fellow man who is in need (when able to do so} is “sinful.”
Hashem views the Biblical nation of Israel as one united entity.
Praying as a part of one entity makes our entreaties more acceptable to Hashem.
Psalm 133:1 A song of ascents. Of David. How good and how pleasant it is that brothers dwell together. 2 It is like fine oil on the head running down onto the beard, the beard of Aaron, that comes down over the collar of his robe; 3 like the dew of Hermon that falls upon the mountains of Zion. There the LORD ordained blessing, everlasting life. (TNK)