Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Bedrock of Belief

Shani Mendlowitz

“Why are you coming in through the back door?” This was the Chofetz Chaim’s question to the many callers who sought his brachos. If you’re trying to visualize his house and its entrances, you misunderstand. The Chofetz Chaim was not referring to the portals of his home; he was alluding instead to the gateways of Heaven.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The fifth Principle of the Rambam’s Thirteen Principles of Faith addresses this very issue: I believe with perfect faith that to the Creator alone it is proper to pray, and that it is not proper to pray to any other.

There are two statements here: the first instructs us to believe in the concept of prayer and worship of Hashem, which implies that Hashem wants us to connect to Him, and that He listens, cares, and responds.  The second statement tells us to recognize that we may not direct this service to any other force, deity, or power.

Although the listing of this Principle in the siddur only mentions prayer, the Rambam writes that this fifth Principle includes other forms of avodah, as well: “Serving Him, exalting Him, making His greatness known, and fulfilling His mitzvos.” The common theme of these actions is expressing our submission to Hashem’s greatness in a multitude of ways.

In the BeisHamikdash, avodah included bowing to the ground. Rav Pincus explains that when a person stands, his head is higher than his limbs, indicating its superiority; when he prostrates himself, he lowers his head and aligns it with his body, expressing that, when relating to his Creator, there’s no difference between his head and his limbs — they’re equally inferior. Another form of avodah in the Beis Hamikdash was the offering of korbanos, which symbolized our readiness to spill our blood for Hashem, for we owe our very lives to Him.

To read more, subscribe now!

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
No Misunderstandings
Rabbi Moshe Grylak Hashem revealed the secret of a balanced life
What Was the Court’s Rush?
Yonoson Rosenblum The Democratic Party’s descent into madness
Survey? Oy Vey
Eytan Kobre How could YAFFED promote such a farce?
Filling the Void
Rabbi Henoch Plotnik Jewish leaders don’t need to be declared or coronated
Top 5 Ways We Remember Our Rebbeim (and we love them for it!)
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin An ode to these pivotal people in my life
Hanging On in Newark
Rabbi Nosson Scherman Rabbi Nosson Scherman remembers the shul of his youth
A Fine Kettle of Fish
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman The “minor” chasadim are often the most meaningful
The Next Hill
Jacob L. Freedman The look on Malachi’s face nearly broke my heart
Tradition and Modern Meet in One Long Dance
Riki Goldstein Fusing tradition and modernity comes naturally to him
A Playlist for Shabbos
Riki Goldstein What does Moshy Kraus sing at the Shabbos table?
With Flying Colors
Riki Goldstein My 15 seconds of fame on the Carnegie Hall stage
Full Faith
Faigy Peritzman With emunah, everyone’s obligation is the same
Speechless
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Silence isn’t always golden
The Only One
With Rav Moshe Wolfson, written by Baila Vorhand Within every Jew is the flame of instinctive emunah