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Kislev 15

Enlighten our eyes in Your Torah (Siddur).

This prayer is not only for an understanding of Torah, but also that Torah may help us perceive the truth in everything.

The Torah tells the story of Hagar and Ishmael, who were stranded in the desert without water. Hagar abandoned her son and fled, saying that she could not bear to see him die of thirst. God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water (Genesis 21:19). God did not create a well where none had existed, but "opened her eyes" so that she could see an already-existing well, which she had not seen because of her state of panic.

Many opportunities may be right before our eyes, but if we become desperate and panicky, we may fail to see them, and the result may be a misfortune that could have been averted. Hagar almost lost Ishmael, not because there was no water, but because she could not see it. What was necessary was not a miracle, but just a correct perception of reality.

Torah teachings can provide guidance that can assist in avoiding distortions of reality.

Today I shall...

try to avoid panic and any other emotion that clouds my ability to see what is truly before me.

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

May 21, 2009

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