Monday, July 1, 2013

Prayer is the doctrine of human needs

"Prayer is the doctrine of human needs. Prayer tells the individual, as well as the community, what his, or its, genuine needs are, what he should, or should not, petition God about. Of the nineteen benedictions of our Amidah, thirteen are concerned with basic human needs, individual as well as social-national." Even two of the last three benedictions (Retzeh and Sim Shalom) are of a petitional nature .... [Prayer] tells man the story of his hidden hopes and expectations. It teaches him how to behold the vision and how to strive in order to realize this vision, when to be satisfied with what one possesses, when to reach out for more. In a word, man finds his need-awareness, himself, in prayer. Of course, the very instant he finds himself, he becomes a redeemed being."

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik "Redemption, Prayer, Talmud Torah"

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