Rav Avigdor Miller, zt”l, reminds K’lal Yisroel to Remember to Daven for Every Jew
by Yehudit Garmaise
In September of 1999, Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, reminded his talmidim and talmidos that on Rosh Hashana, Jews should daven for life and brachos, not only for themselves, but for all of am Yisroel.
After a talmid commented that he thought Hashem makes His judgements on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur according to Yids’ deeds, he asked Rav Miller how wishing others a ksiva v’chasima tova would help others at all.
“Absolutely a man is judged according to his deeds,” answered Rav Miller, who served as the mashgiach ruchani of Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin, the rabbi of the Young Israel of Rugby in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, and creator and a teacher for Midwood’s Bais Yisroel of Rugby Torah Center until he passed away in 2001. “But tefillah helps too.
“The answer is, tefillah is part of your deeds,” said Rav Miller, whom the Satmar Rebbe at the time praised as “not from this dor, but, rather, from a previous generation. “Also, the deeds and zchus of others can help us.
“That is why when we are praying on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, and every day as well, we say שלום רב על עמך ישראל תשים לעולם. We pray for the whole Jewish nation, and not only for ourselves. We say it b’lashon rabim. We say כתבינו and חתמינו.
“We are saying, ‘Write us in the book of life.’” We must think, “Hashem, please remember all of us. All the members of our shul. Everyone who comes to our shiurim. Our wives. Our husbands. Our children. Our grandchildren. All the bnei yeshiva. All the yeshivos. Satmar Yeshiva. Mir Yeshiva. Chaim Berlin. Bobov. Torah Va’daas. Passaic. All the yeshivos and all the girls’ schools. Bais Yaakov, Yeshiva of Brooklyn, Prospect Park, all the frum girls. Then, we think about all their fathers and mothers. All the Jews who keep kashrus, Shabbos, and taharas hamishpacha. All the Jews who are busy keeping the Torah.
“We say, “Hakodosh Boruch Hu, bless them all. The Slobadka Yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel. And Chevron. And Mir. And Ponovezh.”
“We cannot just think brachos in our minds, but we must say them with our mouths.
"Because when we say brachos out loud for others, Hakadosh Baruch Hu says, 'Ohhh. You’re fulfilling that which you want Me to do. Now I see that you mean business.'
"If we want Hashem to bless Am Yisroel, then we should get busy giving blessings.
“And that’s what we say in שים שלום. We say כתבינו: all of us!
“We have to always think about other people. And כל המבקש רחמים על חבירו והוא צריך לאותו דבר הוא נענה תחילה – If you pray for others, you get the first results for yourself.
“We have to think of the Jewish nation in general, but we also have to focus on the individuals of K’lal Yisroel.
“We should think of not just our children and our parents, but our fathers-in-law and our mothers-in-law. We should think of our cousins, our children, our grandparents, our grandchildren.
“We have to think about all of them. At the end of Shemonah Esrei, we must make sure to say the names of everyone we know and love.
“When we pass by houses and we see a mezuzah, we should say “You should all have a גמר חתימה טובה.”
“Who’s listening? Hashem is listening. Hashem hears us! And that’s more important than the people in our houses and our shuls hearing us.
“This why we say the whole davening b’loshon rabim.”
“Some people think that the lashon rabim means “Me," Rav Miller said as he gestured to himself.
“People think that רפאנו and ברכנו means: 'Bless me,' 'Heal me.' Some Jews mistakenly think 'We' means 'me,'
“No,” Rav Miller said. “'We' means ‘we.,’ all of the loyal Jews.” על כל ישראל עמך.
"The whole Jewish people. We love the Jewish nation. I love the Jews in Teiman. I love the Sefardi Jews in America. I love the chassidisheh Jews in Williamsburg. We love everybody. All Jews, we love them all.
"Some Jews don’t yet know Torah, and some Jews are much better than us. And we love them all. We love all Jews. We love Boro Park.
“We need to say that: “I love Boro Park! I love all the frum Jews in Boro Park. Ribono Shel Olam, please watch over all of the Boro Park Jews and all of the Flatbush Jews.”
“When we say these words, Hashem says, “Oh, now I see that you mean business. You are blessing My children. And now I’ll get busy blessing you.”
Chasiva v’Chasima Tova and Shana Tova u’mesukah from BoroPark24! Have a wonderful Yom Tov!
Some of Rav Miller's words were slightly edited.
Photo by: Tzemach Glenn - Holy Shots
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