Sunday, January 23, 2011


News after news, what was hot news yesterday is hardly remembered a few days later. In this case, what I write below is the character of big reports and is especially visible due to the tragic event in Arizona, which became an even bigger story as is well known. Who remember that two weeks ago the homeless man from Columbus Ohio - Ted Williams was the hero of the day, the celebrity of the worldwide media?
The man with the pleasant sounding voice, a baritone, who became the most interviewed fellow in America for a couple of days. I guess that if it weren’t for the Arizona story, the topic of Ted Williams would be continued for at least a couple of weeks instead of days.
Why is it that the story of this homeless man is so popular? Why is it so appealing to the hearts and minds of so many people?
Many have already said something about redemption, a second chance, a G-d given gift of voice…..
However one thing was somehow shoved away from the whole center of the story, although Ted put the main accent on this aspect in all of his interviews. The media did not discuses the aspect of Ted repeatedly declaring that he prayed to G-d.
Ted said it many times in to the cameras, he says that he discovered G-d and that he has accepted his place on earth with gratitude, but he still asked for improvement and promised so that not to waste his life but to get a second chance. We wish Ted the best, and hope he keeps his promise because only that way can he guarantee success in his future.
Let’s just think for a minute, what state was in Ted when he began talking to G-d?
A homeless guy, sleeping somewhere in the bushes next to the highway in the rather cold climate of Cleveland and although he had family it was as if he didn’t have anybody in this world. He betrayed them, and he betrayed himself, and he finally admitted to it to himself through prayer. Without any doubt, the Compassionate One listened to his prayer.
I can already hear critics telling me that it is impossible due to the fact that Ted did not know the true G-d. I agree, he didn’t, and that’s exactly what I want to clarify to my fellow Yiden.
Ted - a lowlife with a criminal past, a guy who doubtfully even knew the basics of the Bible, which would surely have given him the knowledge about the One we Jews serve. He was a person who probably called G-d with a strange name, but this Ted got help from the only One who can provide help. How much can we ask of Him and receive? He is the only One that is waiting to give, as he is constantly giving to us all.
Yes, in this confused world, Ted, as most people don’t even know who they’re talking to when they raise their eyes and voices to heaven, yet they know as it is deeply imprinted in their consciousness, that there is One Who listened and can answer. And yes, The One listens and answers prayers of those who pray and admit to who they really are, those who acknowledge their lowliness and helplessness, the lack of their own powers to improve the wrong within them.
If anybody, even a person that doesn’t know who he is praying to, can achieve results trough his prayer, how much more legitimate is this when it comes to Hashem’s chosen children that are the ones praying, and they know who The One they pray to is.
He is the One who chose them to be witnesses for Him, to serve Him and to carry the mission of Tikkun – Restoration. In exchange for this declaration of readiness, the children of Yisroel have a special protection and an everlasting existence.  
We, the Jews, have a special connection to the Creator of Heaven and Earth; due to the promise given to our forefathers by the Almighty, due to our declaration “Naase ve Nishma”. We promised our Father in Heaven that we will fulfill his will no matter what it is. He, Hakudoish Burich Hu, declared to adopt us rather as children than as servants.
Do we understand our position? Do we use this opportunity to talk to our Father in who as the Sefer Tania puts it ‘Stays on our right side?’ Do we open our mouth when we need to? Do we use this tremendous opportunity that was given to us?
Our king, our national poet – Duvid Hamelech thought us how to use our tongue to connect our inner selves to the higher spheres of spirituality. His Psalms are the most translated and most read literature in history of mankind. His words poured from his heart and can open almost anyone’s heart.
Anshey Kneses Hagdoila – The Sages of the great assembly composed blessing and prayers for the Jewish people, we pray with those words three times a day. This make us Jewish, by the reciting of Amida and other blessings, we signify a part of a national and spiritual body of the unified people of G-d. Those words, as the words of Tehilim – Psalms, are supposed to connect us to Hashem and inspire and teach us how to talk to our Father in Heaven.
Yes, talk to him like a child talks to his earthly father. No matter the kind of prayer, written by prophets and sages, or using your own words in your most understood language. This later kind of prayer opens the gates of hearts and minds that no other words are able to do.
When we pray with our own words, as many Jewish masters taught us to do, we reveal things to ourselves, things we hide even from ourselves. And even when we make our daily Heshbon Haneifesh – self reflection, we can be masters of deceit to ourselves, we can lie and cheat our conscience, staying convinced that we really do everything in our power to do the best. We fool ourselves as long as we do not to allow the ultimate Witness and Judge of our conscience to be involved. This involvement happens when we open our mouth to talk to Him – Aibishter.
Our prayer allows us to listen to our conscience; we are not able to lie to ourselves anymore. We can not deceive ourselves to reside in convenient but imaginary reality. In prayer we can see ourselves for who we really are. When we grasp this, than with tears, we can ask for help. No matter what we ask for, He will listen. He will listen because we will finally recognize what is really important to us, and that is what we will ask of Him. 

Matys Weiser