2

Sometimes, I find myself in a place where I can't get a Minyan. Many times when this happens, I seem to not have too much of a desire to Daven. I might only Daven half, a quarter, or even non of the Davening! I always feel bad about it afterwards!

I have 2 questions: 1. How do I make it up to God for doing this? 2. What should I do when I'm in the situation where I have no desire to Daven?

  • While not my recommended method. It is possible to pray and go through the motions. I have seen this method done in my yeshiva elementary school as well as my children's yeshiva. Granted that in school, they are forced to do this, so the impetus is different from your situation. But, perhaps, if you think of prayer like you think of eating breakfast, it would become part of your daily routine. You don't need to do everything, if you can't. Start with a few items, and slowly focus on what they mean and you will eventually realize how it changes your life and your attitude. – DanF Aug 18 '16 at 15:03
  • 1
    RE Q 1 - Davening is for YOU; not for God. He doesn't need your prayers and, therefore, there is nothing to "make up" to God. You need to "make up" for yourself. If you need help understanding this concept, let me know. I'll see if I can find you a link or two. – DanF Aug 18 '16 at 15:44
  • Chazal discuss the process of "making up" a missed prayer, though typically it's from carelessness rather than deliberate omission. As @DanF says, prayer is for the one praying, not the one "receiving." – Isaac Kotlicky Aug 18 '16 at 15:48
  • 3
    @IsaacKotlicky I haven't checked the halachic rules, but I don't think one is even allowed to do "tashlumin" for intentionally missing a prayer. – DanF Aug 18 '16 at 15:50
  • 1
    @DanF [not] allowed to do "tashlumin" for intentionally missing a prayer. True. But depending on what the OP means by no desire to Daven, the psychological factors that are keeping him from praying may make this a case of ones or tarud rather than a violation. See Rambam (Hil. T'filla 3:8, "בשוגג או שהיה אנוס או טרוד משלם אותה תפלה בזמן תפלה הסמוכה לה", in light of 4:15 "כוונת הלב כיצד כל תפלה שאינה בכוונה אינה תפלה... מצא דעתו משובשת ולבו טרוד אסור לו להתפלל עד שתתיישב דעתו"). – Fred Aug 18 '16 at 18:07
6

First of all, you are to be commended for recognizing that you have a problem and assertively taking a step toward correcting it.

This type of question should be discussed with a trusted Rebbe or Rav who knows you personally, understands your situation, and can therefore offer guidance that is tailored specially for you. He may suggest that in such cases you can drastically shorten your davening, which would make it less daunting and more easily doable in your circumstances, and he will specify how much you should shorten it based on both your conversation with him and his knowledge of halacha.

It's also important to note that given how difficult it is for you to daven, it is so much more meaningful and precious to God when despite it all you put in that extra effort and force yourself to do it only because He wants you to and not out of habit and convenience. I personally envy the power of such a prayer.

As far as making it up to God - it's like anything else: you do teshuva to the best of your ability, which you have already begun by taking this step. Keep in mind that teshuva is not all-or-nothing; each part of the teshuva process counts for something by itself, even if you can't complete all the steps (Mabit in Bais Elokim). Every little bit you do to turn toward God is meaningful and significant.

  • It's a good general answer. However, my understanding from the OP's phrasing is that he's in a place where he can't get to a minyan. I sense that if he spoke to rav, the rav would suggest that he join the minyan, which, I think would immediately repair the problem. See my comment, above. I think that the minyan, itself, is the main problem, here. – DanF Aug 18 '16 at 16:26
  • @DanF The fact that there is no minyan available is something he would have to mention. – Daniel Aug 18 '16 at 20:37
3

I find pondering this story intensifies my belief in Hashem and my complete dependence on Him because "Ein Od Milvado" – there is no other power other than Hashem.

If I recognise this, then I will realise my total dependence on Him and want to acknowledge that and request my many needs through davenning with or without a minyan.

Reb Chaim Volozhin and the Secret That Saved The Brisker Rav

Today is the yahrzeit of Reb Chaim Volozhin, talmid of the Vilna Gaon and architect and father of the modern yeshiva. In Nefesh HaChaim he writes that when faced by danger if you concentrate on the pasuk "Ein Od Milvado"; "there is no other power other than Hashem", then all other forces will be nullified and the danger will disappear.

His descendant the Brisker Rav, in World War II when escaping from German occupied Poland towards Lithuania, made a harrowing three day journey towards the border. While many people on the same route were murdered by the Nazis ym"s his wagon travelled pretty much unharassed encountering many miracles along the way. When he was about to cross the border he was stopped by a soldier who started physically abusing him. After a few minutes another soldier mysteriously appeared and told him to leave the Brisker Rav alone.

The Brisker Rav later told a talmid that during the entire journey he strained himself to concentrate on "Ein Od Milvado". Once he approached the border he relaxed thinking that he was safe and at that point he was harassed by the soldier. Once he started concentrate again the mysterious soldier came to the Rav's aid.

I agree with @DanF's comment "Davening is for YOU; not for God. He doesn't need your prayers and, therefore, there is nothing to "make up" to God."

3

Like the nike slogan "Just do it"...right when you feel like not davening, say to yourself "Just do it". Sometimes I am so tired but I force myself and before you know it I am "lost" in a beautiful place. "Just do it"...

1

You should be very happy when can usually get a minyan! I live in a place in which there is no shul and I am forced to daven alone all the time. Just maybe remember that next time. :)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .