Thursday, March 6, 2008

The afternoon prayer

With this in mind . . .

A teacher of mine in high school related this idea, which I find extremely compelling and relevant. I don't know the exact sources.

When Avraham sent Hagar and Yishmael out of his home, the Torah tells us that Yishmael began to die of thirst in the desert. Yishmael cried out to Hashem to save him from death, and Hashem heard his tefilah and sent a well of water to restore him.

Fast forward many years. Yitzchak famously goes out into the field "lifnot erev" (before the evening) and establishes the tefilah that we know as mincha. But he didn't go to just any field . . . he went to the place where Yishmael, many years earlier, had called out to Hashem to save him. Why did he do that? Why did he choose that place and that time specifically? Because Yitzchak knew that there had to be a way for bnei Yisrael to combat the power of the tefilah of Yishmael - so he went to the same place, at the same time, and established a prayer that the children of Israel can use to overcome the power of the children of Ishmael.

That is the power of the afternoon prayer.


Erachet said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I'm usually on and off about davening mincha (aka, I do it when I remember to) but this inspires me to make it more of a priority.

Diet Dr. Pepper said...



Thanks for the beautiful insight.