Session 103: Does Davening Really Help?

Painful days demand painful questions and real answers. Please listen to this class.

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When innocent children are stabbed to death in the streets of Jerusalem; when people are mowed down in a kosher supermarket in Paris; when every news outlet tries to be “fair” by denying the atrocities of history and of today… How does it help to sit down and say some Tehillim?

When you pray to God that He stop the carnage, and by the time you close your siddur, a charitable man has been cruelly butchered… How can you say that your connection to God is real?

When people are scared, abused, hurting, sick, lonely, depressed, and you want so desperately to heal them, to hold them, to fix things, but you don’t know how… How can you feel that God is listening to you and cares about you?

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How to turn your pain into a bridge to God, and how to feel the pain of others.

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Introduction to Shmone Esrei:

Getting a concept of how to relate to Hashem at the highest level of Neshama, by merging your will with His.

Session 101: A Moment in Time / Rosh HaShana

We begin exploring how the halachos of Shmone Esrei all are expressions of the reality that we are speaking directly with Hashem, and define the elemental 3-part structure of the Tefilla (Shmone Esrei), and how it plays out in the Rosh Hashana prayers.

Time is the structure in our lives that allows us to think of our lives as having meaning, mission, purpose. Time allows us to think about our past, commit to our future, and make choices in the present.  אין עתה אלא תשובה.

The call of the Shofar "brings you through your innermost self to God." (— Rabbi S. R. Hirsch)

"The root of the root of the Shofar on Rosh Hashana is the selfsame breath which God blew into the nostrils of Adam at the creation of humanity." (— Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner)

Handout - Present, Past, Future