Everyone wants to see Moshiach now, rather than wait for G-d’s Time Table. And that may be the reason He hasn’t released His Timing to the general population until now. And unequivocally everyone Should be righteous and try to get closer to the Tree-of-Life reality, but…
Not all prayers are at the same level. The Baal Shem Tov spoke of three levels of prayer, the lowest being when we pray for ourselves. In this case, we’re acknowledging that we can’t do it alone, but that we know what’s best for us. The same holds true, though less selfishly, when we pray for others; we’re still trying to manipulate the universe.
The second level is when realize that the lack below is caused because of spiritual actions above and we pray to rectify the Supernal Sources of the imbalances. He further points out that our prayers are really address whether we see the consequences or not and thus when we pray for the desired changes below and for above we can really mess things up and that it’s tantamount to saying we believe and yet we really don’t.
The second level, praying to fill a lack in the Shechinah, can also backfire as it has every time great tzaddiks have tried to bring H’Mashiach (the Messiah) before his time. The example is given of Rabbi Yosef d’LeReina, who in the 15th century tried such an act and caused the Spanish exile instead,
The highest level, though, is simply to pray that Hashem do as He knows best. You do your best physical efforts and pray that the outcome be whatever Hashem thinks is best for you.
But isn’t this like saying we should prayer for G-d’s Will to be done, when even if we do nothing at all, His Will will be done?
The difference is that when we pray for this, we deeply acknowledge that we don’t have any control over the physicality and that we are severing our selfish desires (known and unknown) from the outcome. We are telling G-d and the universe that we are willing to work hard for His cause, regardless of whatever that cause may be or what it means for us physically. This is such a high level, because by making yourself a foot soldier in G-d’s army instead of appointing yourself a general in your own, you are also making yourself an Angel of the Lord.
Now we just have to ask ourselves, which voice inside ourselves is demanding to be a general. If we can silence it at least when we pray, we may begin to see what the tree-of-life is all about.
Applications are open for foot soldiers.
Later this week, we will be discussing “The Book of the Wars of the Lord,” as it is called in the Torah.