The Secret Button that Activates the Entire Universe
M’nucha Bialik, International Shidduch Coach
“Is there something that we should be doing to find our zivug?” a group of young women who had been in the shidduch parsha for some time wanted to know – so they asked someone to present this question for them to Rabbi Elyashiv.
Rabbi Elyashiv’s answer: “I only have one answer. I would suggest that these girls daven, daven, and daven!”
Very upset, disappointed and confused by this answer, they responded: “We can’t daven anymore. We have davened and davened and davened some more, but we’re still in the exact same place: our salvation hasn’t come – nothing has happened.”
Well, the person who presented this question to Rav Elyashiv understood their despondency and decided to bring this query and the girls’ response to Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman. He replied cryptically: “If these girls think that they have already davened enough, I would like to ask them how many tefillos have they already davened? How many times have they asked Hashem to have mercy on them?”
Rav Shteinman then went to his bookcases and removed sefer Melachim from his shelves. He showed the girls the Radak which teaches that the wife of Ovadia davened 265 times before she was finally answered and saved from losing her children and from abject poverty. Rav Shteinman said that even 264 times would not have been enough. If she had davened “only” 264 times, her tefillos would not have been answered, she would have lost her children, and she would have remained in poverty. However, immediately following the 265th time her tefillos were answered with a tremendous neis and she was promised that until the days of mashiach, her descendants would never be lacking financially.
Rav Shteinman continued: “These women who have not yet found their salvation, who have not yet found their zivug, need to continue to daven and not to despair! Even if they have already davened many, many tefilos, maybe it was decreed upon them that the next tefillah will be their salvation!?”
You see, there is a law of nature which most of you, if not all of you, have known about it for years – but if you’re like most, you might not have really learned or understood its power. It’s the law of nature called tefillah.
It’s a law of nature which when understood and used properly can activate the entire universe. This law of nature states: all of creation waits for tefillah – even if everything is all prepared and ready, it needs tefillah to be actualized.
So for example, as you well know, in six days Hashem created the world. On the sixth day, although in theory everything was created, there were no trees to be seen, no grass, no flowers. These things were all created in potential. The button to activate these things and allow them to actually grow was Adam’s tefillah. He had tremendous understanding and realized that the flowers, grass, and trees needed rain to grow, so Adam Harishon davened for rain. As soon as he davened, Hashem sent the rain and the vegetation grew.
We see countless examples like this from the Tanach. Another instance is when Hashem promised Avraham that his children will be saved from Mitzrayim, and yet it was only after Bnei Yisroel cried out to Hashem and davened, that they were actually saved. We see this from the imahos and avos, our foremothers and forefathers – they were barren until they davened. We learn this from Chana, how she didn’t have any children until she davened.
This is not something that just occurs randomly; it’s actually built into the world – we need to pray to activate the potential.
Tefillah is the magical button that actualizes what is potential. The law of nature called tefillah further states: Nothing is given unless man takes it through prayer. Nothing can occur without pressing the button that activates it; and prayer is the button that activates everything! We, and even great tzaddikim, need tefillah simply because that is how Hashem created the world. In order to get, we have to ask for it from Hashem. Rav Yerucham Levovitz, the Mirrer mashgiach, explains that Hashem does not want people to be in a position of just being given things. He wants us to be active in taking what we need. Prayer is the means by which we take.
Often people ask, “Why do I have to daven – doesn’t Hashem know what I want?” You may wonder why you can’t just sit back and wait for Hashem to make it happen – you have the ratzon to get married and you have the bitachon that you will get married. However, having the ratzon to get married and having the bitachon is typically not enough. You need to utilize this law of nature that we are discussing and actually pray.
So now, we’re back to the beginning of this newsletter with the young women’s question: “We’ve already davened!!!! What more can or should we be doing????”
It is true that you’ve davened; and it is true that you have davened many, many times; but to activate the button that will allow you and your zivug to meet and recognize each other, you need to daven one more time. And if that’s not enough, one more time after that. Just daven and daven and daven and just keep taking one more step. Because your personal neis and your yeshua may be behind your next tefillah.
Now, we are in chodesh Elul – Hashem is right next to you. He wants to hear from you! He wants to hear what you need, how you want to serve Him, what you need so that you can serve Him even better. And my friends, if what you need is to get married – then daven for that. This month, try even harder than usual – say an extra kapittal of tehillim or just daven whatever you typically daven, believing that maybe behind this tefillah is the power to activate the potential and fulfill your requests!
May this year be the year and may behind your next tefillah be the answer to your fervent desire. Like the wife of Ovadia, may you receive your answer plus even more. May you find your zivug, have shalom bayis, have children and tremendous nachas from them. May this year you be showered with brochos and answers to all your tefillos!
K’siva v’chasima tova!