I have heard and spoken with many people who talk about the idea of davening to gedolim as a way of uplifting their tefilos. The logic being that the gedolim are on a “higher” level and so can ensure your tefilos reach hashem. To me this has always seemed to borderline avodah zarah… is there any justification for this or anyone at all that speaks about it with criticism or praise?

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    Not even borderline. It violates the fifth of the Rambam's thirteen principles.
    – N.T.
    Aug 9, 2022 at 3:34
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    I think this is how avodah zarah started according to the Rambam.
    – pcoz
    Aug 9, 2022 at 5:06
  • Welcome to MiYodeya Yonatan and thanks for this first question. Great to have you learn with us!
    – mbloch
    Aug 9, 2022 at 5:19
  • The sefer הנהגות צַדִיקִים (p. 528) explains that davening to Gedolim is not meant to bind with the gedolim, in order to get our tefillos heard, but in order to get the same level of emunah, the tzaddik has (had) in order to pray. (see: dinonline.org/2021/01/26/binding-yourself-to-a-tzaddik)
    – Shmuel
    Aug 9, 2022 at 9:05
  • You mean dead ones, right? The Gemara's very unsure whether they're even aware of what's happening here. Asking angels whose job it is anyway to promote our prayers, to do it a bit better, is itself iffy.
    – Shalom
    Aug 9, 2022 at 11:28


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