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Filed under: divine thought, ethics, Fixings-Tikunim, middot, MORAL VALUE, PRAYERS, providence, self help spirituality, TALMUD, Will
UPDATED JUNE 23 2015
R. Eleazar on concluding his prayer14 used to say the following: May it be Thy will, O Lord our God, to cause to dwell in our lot love and brotherhood and peace and friendship, and mayest Thou make our borders rich in disciples and prosper our latter end with good prospect and hope, and set our portion in Paradise, and confirm us15 with a good companion and a good impulse in Thy world, and may we rise early and obtain the yearning of our heart to fear Thy name,16 and mayest Thou be pleased to grant the satisfaction of our desires!17
R. Johanan on concluding his prayer added the following: May it be Thy will, O Lord our God, to look upon our shame, and behold our evil plight, and clothe Thyself in Thy mercies, and cover Thyself in Thy strength, and wrap Thyself in Thy lovingkindness , and gird Thyself with Thy graciousness, and may the attribute of Thy kindness and gentleness come before Thee!
R. Zera on concluding his prayer added the following: May it be Thy will, O Lord our God, that we sin not nor bring upon ourselves shame or disgrace before our fathers!18
R. Hiyya on concluding his prayer added the following: May it be Thy will, O Lord our God, that our Torah may be our occupation, and that our heart may not be sick nor our eyes darkened!
Rab on concluding his prayer added the following: May it be Thy will, O Lord our God, to grant us long life, a life of peace, a life of good, a life of blessing, a life of sustenance, a life of bodily vigour,19 a life in which there is fear of sin, a life free from shame and confusion, a life of riches and honour, a life in which we may be filled with the love of Torah and the fear of heaven, a life in which Thou shalt fulfil all the desires of our heart for good!20
Rabbi on concluding his prayer added the following: May it be Thy will, O Lord our God, and God of our fathers, to deliver us from the impudent and from impudence, from an evil man, from evil hap, from the evil impulse, from an evil companion, from an evil neighbour, and from the destructive Accuser, from a hard lawsuit and from a hard opponent, whether he is a son of the covenant or not a son of the covenant!21 [Thus did he pray] although guards22 were appointed23 to protect Rabbi.
R. Safra on concluding his prayer added the following: May it be Thy will, O Lord our God, to establish peace among the celestial family,1 and among the earthly family,2 and among the disciples who occupy themselves with Thy Torah whether for its own sake or for other motives; and may it please Thee that all who do so for other motives may come to study it for its own sake!
R. Alexandri on concluding his prayer added the following: May it be Thy will, O Lord our God, to station us in an illumined corner and do not station us in a darkened corner, and let not our heart be sick nor our eyes darkened! According to some this was the prayer of R. Hamnuna, and R. Alexandri on concluding his prayer used to add the following: Sovereign of the Universe, it is known full well to Thee that our will is to perform Thy will, and what prevents us? The yeast in the dough3 and the subjection to the foreign Powers. May it be Thy will to deliver us from their hand, so that we may return to perform the statutes of Thy will with a perfect heart!
Raba on concluding his prayer added the following: My God, before I was formed I was not worthy [to be formed], and now that I have been formed I am as if I had not been formed. I am dust in my lifetime, all the more in my death. Behold I am before Thee like a vessel full of shame and confusion. May it be Thy will, O Lord my God, that I sin no more, and the sins I have committed before Thee wipe out in Thy great mercies, but not through evil chastisements and diseases! This was the confession of R. Hamnuna Zuti on the Day of Atonement.4
Mar the son of Rabina on concluding his prayer added the following: My God, keep my tongue from evil and my lips from speaking guile. May my soul be silent to them that curse me and may my soul be as the dust to all. Open Thou my heart in Thy law, and may my soul pursue Thy commandments, and deliver me from evil hap, from the evil impulse and from an evil woman and from all evils that threaten to come upon the world. As for all that design evil against me, speedily annul their counsel and frustrate their designs!5 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable before Thee, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer!6
When R. Shesheth kept a fast, on concluding his prayer he added the following: Sovereign of the Universe, Thou knowest full well that in the time when the Temple was standing, if a man sinned he used to bring a sacrifice, and though all that was offered of it was its fat and blood, atonement was made for him therewith. Now I have kept a fast and my fat and blood have diminished. May it be Thy will to account my fat and blood which have been diminished as if I had offered them before Thee on the altar, and do Thou favour me.7
When R. Johanan finished the Book of Job,8 he used to say the following: The end of man is to die, and the end of a beast is to be slaughtered, and all are doomed to die. Happy he who was brought up in the Torah and whose labour was in the Torah and who has given pleasure to his Creator and who grew up with a good name and departed the world with a good name; and of him Solomon said: A good name is better than precious oil, and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.9
A favourite saying of R. Meir was: Study with all thy heart and with all thy soul to know My ways and to watch at the doors of My law. Keep My law in thy heart and let My fear be before thy eyes. Keep thy mouth from all sin and purify and sanctify thyself from all trespass and iniquity, and I will be with thee in every place.
A favourite saying of the Rabbis of Jabneh was: I am God’s creature and my fellow10 is God’s creature. My work is in the town and his work is in the country. I rise early for my work and he rises early for his work. Just as he does not presume to do my work, so I do not presume to do his work. Will you say, I do much and he does little? We have learnt:12 One may do much or one may do little; it is all one, provided he directs his heart to heaven.
A favourite saying of Abaye was: A man should always be subtle in the fear of heaven.13 A soft answer turneth away wrath,14 and one should always strive to be on the best terms with his brethren and his relatives and with all men and even with the heathen in the street, in order that he may be beloved above and well-liked below and be acceptable to his fellow creatures. It was related of R. Johanan b. Zakkai that no man ever gave him greeting first, even a heathen in the street.
A favourite saying of Raba was: The goal of wisdom is repentance and good deeds, so that a man should not study Torah and Mishnah and then despise15 his father and mother and teacher and his superior in wisdom and rank, as it says, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, a good understanding have all they that do thereafter.16 It does not say, ‘that do’,17 but ‘that do thereafter’, which implies, that do them for their own sake and not for other motives.18 If one does them for other motives, it were better that he had not been created.
A favourite saying of Rab was: [The future world is not like this world.]19 In the future world there is no eating nor drinking nor propagation nor business nor jealousy nor hatred nor competition, but the righteous sit with their crowns on their heads feasting on the brightness of the divine presence, as it says, And they beheld God, and did eat and drink.
Know that compassion pushes away depression. Sometimes it is necessary to brake our nature not just guide it. If we brake our will for His will. He will do the same for us from His infinite Mercy. Blessings come to us from the Will of God. When we change our nature so as to fulfill His will, He can even change nature itself so as to bless us with his infinite bounty. When a person does kindness in a selfless way not imposing restrictions, the blessings they evoke will be limitless from God’s boundless sea of blessings. In a sense one must dissolve themselves to become part of the great whole. Worldly blessings are planted by good deeds.Virtue protects your blessings. Don’t be concerned about the blessings you going to get. Know nature is perpetually changing. God never changes and is everlasting. So its best for us many times to change our attitude. Challenging external situations at times require us to change our attitudes. When we do his will we can receive all blessings that exist in his will. Then you will have power to bless others. There should be purpose to all our actions. This purpose is to always be involved in the ultimate fulfillment of His will. This is the way of the universe. One must adapt themselves so that in any environment they can attach their mind to that which is most profound. God has certain rules by which he has made this world and by which it operates. Water only runs down hill, unless he rules otherwise. These rules are his will. By following in His way, that which is “tied up” preventing flow of Divine abundance becomes untangled. The dirt on our souls is cleansed away. Lights separated become merged giving life. All things reach harmony as is proper. Then one can suddenly reveal the light of their soul. That was not seen before. The virtue of the righteous person is this wholeness. He doesn’t separate himself but lives merging himself in this universal Wholeness of God. Wholeness of life. He embraces this oneness. When one is one with God, God is one with them. By this all things benefit. Then all will once again will be united the way it should be with God. This is all obscure, yet it is the greatest clarity. You will be able to sense it, when all is right. In our world of limitations, paradoxes contradict and seem to exclude each other. In a place beyond limits they co-exist in harmony without any qualms. It is said “You can’t dance at two weddings”, unless you can be in two places at the same time. ‘Above’ concerns Providence. ‘Below’ is the realm of free choice. One who is connected to God in the upper worlds while still in this world can do this. This all links with the concept of making Divine providence. According to one’s closeness to God, their personal refinement the rules over the whole system and over you in particular change. As the powers and responsibilities of the king’s son differs from that of the palace janitor or one who has no place in the palace at all. Do his will and you will be blessed you will be a winner. You can live a spiritual life free of guilt with all of God’s blessings including healing when needed of your body and soul, wisdom, prosperity, forgiveness and all the wonders we pray for each day. His rules are the formula for true life. Since life was created for the sake of its potential to achieve closeness to God. When man can no longer live for that potential. His life is taken from him. A person who doesn’t want to get up in the morning. If this desire is strong enough he just dies. One must live a life of purpose. Ambivalence ranks high on the self-sabotage scale. This is usually due to a lack of vision a lack of purpose, and the secret desire to let others do and decide things for you. You need always to actively be in control of your life. Its outcome should not be left up to chance. One should always be growing, never becoming stagnant. Growth should be ecstatic, not something routine. You should jump into it. Be the architect of your life its imaginative engineer. One should always be striving to reach a higher level. Achieving greater completion, happiness and inner peace. Refining one’s inner vision is a process of unfolding. It is good to cultivate the disciplines of moderation and self restraint.
Its good to bring people good tiding, then good news will come back to you. One should say what they mean and mean what they say. Truth has no friends, but it is what it is. Based upon truth a person must stand firm as a cedar, even if at times one needs to be flexible as a reed. A living man is flexible and warm. Its a dead person who is rigid, stiff and cold. Which do you want to be ?