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Adar 13

From the mouths of babes and sucklings You established strength (Psalms 8:3).

The Talmud tells us that when Haman threatened to annihilate the Jews, Mordechai gathered the children and led them in prayer to God. Why children? Because they are likely to be more sincere, and their prayers more genuine.

A Chassidic master said that one of the things we should learn from an infant is that it cries for whatever it wants. When an infant wants something, it wants it with all its being, and nothing else either interests it or distracts it from the object of its desire. The baby will cry relentlessly until it gets what it wants.

We pray for the redemption of Israel. We tell ourselves that we really want the Exile to end. We ask for redemption no less than three times a day in our prayers. But just one question: If we really wanted it as much as we say we do, why do we not cry for it?

An infant does not play intellectual games. It does not rationalize. It does not debate why it is preferable to get its way or not get it. The item of its desire may be only a brightly colored ball or a wooden block, but at that moment, it is as important to the infant as life itself, and it makes its desire well known to all with ears to hear.

Parents respond to the infant's cry because, in their intense love for the child, they do not wish to deprive it of something it wants so desperately.

God loves us more than a parent loves a child. If we would cry for our redemption, we would certainly get it.

Today I shall...

try to understand how being in Exile prevents me from attaining maximum intimacy with God, to the point where I will cry to Him for redemption.

With stories and insights, Rabbi Twerski's new book Twerski on Machzor makes Rosh Hashanah prayers more meaningful. Click here to order...

Published: May 21, 2009

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