by Natalie Sulaymanov (Couples Couch Co-Chair & RAJE Alum)
“A young boy walks into shul Erev Rosh Hashana and takes a seat in the corner and just watches everyone pray and sing to Hashem. About an hour into prayer the Rabbi notices this same boy crying while reciting the Hebrew Alef-Bet (alphabet) , he walks over to the young boy and asks him “sweet boy why are you crying? Has something happened to you?” The boy replies “Rabbi I want to pray to Hashem but I don’t know how to read in Hebrew only thing I learned was the Alef-Bet. But I don’t feel that will mean anything and I’m sad that Hashem won’t hear me” The Rabbi took a moment and comforted the boy and then walked him up to the center of the shul for the entire congregation to see. “Ladies and Gentlemen of Khal Israel please take a second to appreciate this young boy’s Kavanah (meaning) he so desperately wants to speak to Hashem that he is singing the Alef-Bet with the hopes that Hashem will hear his prayers. He has so much passion behind the only thing he thinks will connect him to Hashem that it has brought him to tears! Let’s learn from this young boy and be passionate with our prayers to Hashem no matter how much we know! Talk to Hashem in anyway you know, He is listening.” The entire congregation took a moment to appreciate this message and all of the started to pray and sing even louder and more passionately then when he walked in! The young boy continued to recite the Hebrew alphabet but this time with so much Kavanah, he was smiling from ear to ear.”
The moral of the story, just because you didn’t go to a Jewish school or learn how to read in Hebrew does not mean that Hashem won’t hear your prayers. He will listen to you no matter what language you pray in or how much you know. He will hear your passion and listen to your prayers. This Rosh Hashana be mindful that the power of your prayers are in your hands and Hashem will always hear them.