PRAYERS & ACTION



PRAYERS
We pray different. We say the Shema 2 times a day.  Some pray 3 more times a day facing Israel.  But we have blessing to say over our food, drink, children.  However when it comes to prayers it is mostly a prayer of thanks. It makes us take time to be gratful for what we have. We do not pray vanity prays.  For example if your neighborhood has a house on fire and you are driving home you do not start to pray that it is not your house on fire (Vanity  Prayer).  If you are worried about what to do we are not told to pray on it.  We are to talk to the Rabbi, read the Torah for an answer or think on it.  I have found this works.  When I am worried about what to do I think on it for a few days and then I start to feel a peace about it. I figure out what to do with my religion and heart guiding me.  Then I know what to do.

Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote

 "To  define religion  primarily as a  quest for

 personal satisfaction or salvation is 

to make it a refine kind of magic."

As long as man sees in satisfaction of his own needs, a guarantee of immortality ( getting to heaven)
It is not G-d whom he serves but himself."
Praying to G-d to get your needs or to earn heaven is a low form of religion.  It is to think of G-d as magic.  
Also Judaism is not a religion that prays for things.  People like to be able to pray to their deity to give them more victories at their soccer game, better grades, for health conditions or whatever.  Judaism is a religion of thanking G-d for the things we are given.  The ability to do the things that we can do.  The fact that we have one more day in this body to enjoy.  My family even gives thanks for the sick days because they make the good days even better knowing how bad we felt before.  
Example of a prayer from a sick Rabbi who prays not to get better but to thank Hashem


A Prayer of Thanksgiving For Ill Health
I give you thanks, Eternal source of comfort, for allowing my body to arrive at this place and in this time in whatever fashion it may be in, for today I am alive and can stand before you, and your perfect design is clear to me. Praised are you, Adonai my God, for sustaining me in wondrous ways.
I offer praise to you, Eternal God, for forming my body with all of its part arising from a natural order: allowing your creation to steer its own course and develop in its own way. In showing me your true and everlasting love through the gift of this freedom, I humbly show you my love by accepting the mitzvah which you commanded: to love all creatures and to bring them closer to your Torah.
My soul you have put in me is pure, and so long as my soul remains in me, I will offer thanks to you, my God and God of my ancestors, creator of all living things, guardian of all souls.
I offer this prayer of thanks to you, Eternal God, in Whom all things are possible.
Written by Rabbi Patrick Aleph, Executive Director of PunkTorah.
- See more at: http://punktorah.org/a-prayer-for-not-healing-or-how-to-thank-god-for-refusing-to-cure-you/#sthash.OFhNkuGm.dpuf

ACTION
 Judaism is an action religion.  We don't say put it in G-d's hands.  We are put us here not so something else could live our lives for us but so that we may live.  We make our decisions as any religious person would with the thought of our religious beliefs to guide us.   However, we must still act.  This is a way I feel that others have answers to their prayers.  You need something and pray then you give to charity or give blood or marrow. Your good act can be used to answer another person's prayer for a marrow match or for whatever the charity is.  This doesn't mean G-d hears you and gives you what you want.  Like healing a loved one. But if every does an action then your loved one can be healed by one of those action like donating organ or paying for a cancer treatment because you gave money to a charity.
I give to my Tzedakah box before I go shopping   The tzedakah is an act of justice.  Basily charity but charity means it is undeserved and we call it an act of justice because it is giving to those who deserve it but are in a bad way.  To make the world more equal.  I feel it I have money to go shopping I have money to give away also.

The concept of "life after death," in the Jewish view, is not encouraged as the motivating factor in performance of Judaism. Indeed it is held that one can attain closeness to Godliness  even in this world through moral and spiritual perfection.

So why pray if it isn't going to get you to heaven and it doesn't get you what you want here on Earth?  You pray and do good deeds to feel closer to godliness.  Feeling godly is the greatest reward and it is the secret to happiness.


Forgiveness - is also an action word.  We don't ask for forgiveness as other religions do.  We atone for our offenses
.  Ask for atonement for our offenses against the people we have offended, show that we have learned from our offence and make changes to insure we will not make the mistake again.  It takes action. Atonement is an outward action that covers over the error.

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