I heard this somewhere and it has stuck with me because when I hear people say, “What good is prayer?” it makes me wonder if people didn’t pray, how could/would they hold on to HOPE for better times, for the health of someone suffering, for the peace and safety we all crave? There is no way to get around the word HOPE when wishing for what we envision as an improved situation/world.
We live in chaotic times and it seems everyday we have breaking news that rattles our sensibilities more than yesterday, even though we thought yesterday couldn’t be topped! As individuals, it’s not uncommon for us to wonder what we could do to make things better. As individuals, we are smart enough to know we can’t change the world by ourselves, as much as we would like to. So what next? What can I do? What can you do?
I don’t know. I can only HOPE we educate ourselves/others to have the correct facts on what we are hoping could be better; whether it’s a world/country/family/health condition/job/etc. matter. Having the truths, facts, the emes, the reality, the certainty, the actuality to know the truth-truths is a step in hoping the out-come will be for the welfare of those concerned.
Coming together in community, working as a unit, with a collective goal for the mutual benefit of all, gets us closer to HOPE/TIKVAH. Prayers for strength and healing often soothes when we pray as a group. We are with people who share our understanding of TIKVAH and that our voices and passions, as one, might be heard. And as we pray for the greater-good together, we often heal ourselves while receiving a sense of comradery and understanding that we aren’t alone in our concerns. And prayer is not the same for everyone, as it can look and sound different from what we might expect. Silent, synagogue, prayer groups, yoga, meditation, a mindfulness practice are all ways of prayer, as these all insinuate a HOPE for improvement.
AND prayer doesn’t have to mean we are asking for something, it could be an offering of “thanks” for our blessings, which in itself, has an element of HOPE for the unsaid word, “I HOPE for more of what I already have.”
I have a ritual, twice a day, of personal prayers. Because G-d has been there for me so many times in my life, I am naive enough to believe SHE hears me, even the shortened version before bedtime. I say each name of the people I am praying for out loud so there is no confusion as to whom I am referring to. Makes me feel better, gives me HOPE I am being heard! But I have a dilemma that worries me and that’s when I am no longer around to pray, WHO will take over the prayers to keep my loved ones safe and healthy??? As I do believe, my prayers keep those loved ones out of harms way and healthy.
I’ve contemplated confiding to one of my granddaughters, the 13-year-old who has the soul of wise old woman, knowing she would totally get where I’m coming from. But I worry that it might be a burden on her to take on such a responsibility. I wouldn’t want her to feel guilty if she forgot the prayers one day or felt it was too much to refuse my last wish. I will contemplate this some more, as it is important to me that G-d hears the names of those I need to pray for, even if I can’t.
As 2018 comes to a close, and many are grateful this difficult year will be in the past, I ask you to join in a collective prayer of HOPE/TIKVAH as we ring in 2019 for those who have less than us, for those who live in parts of the world where they suffer daily, for those who are laden with illness, financial burdens, losses that leave voids and those who hurt from emotional pain and loneliness. We send them prayers and wishes for brighter days filled with the sweetness our world can offer.
And along with our requests for HOPE/TIKVAH, acknowledging our appreciation for our blessings and good fortunes will hopefully go a long way!
Sending prayers with HOPE/TIKVAH for peace, health, love and prosperity in the new year.
As a Baby Boomer Bubbe who still feels 18 but has four grand kids to prove this is the 21 Century, Sandra writes to leave a legacy for the next generations. Her belief that these precious kids need to know their cultural and family’s past in order for them to live their future is all the muse she needs!
She has a Master’s Degree in Psychology and Cross Cultural studies, has written a family history, personal memoir and is completing her first novel.
Her grandmother’s journey to America and life is her source for her deep belief and love for Judaism.