Before I Daven

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum -> Interesting Discussions -> Inspirational

View latest: 24h 48h 72h



Post Mon, May 22 2023, 2:11 am
Lately, before I daven, I have been giving myself a few minutes to imagine. And it has really helped me daven with more kavana.

Come imagine with me!

It is morning, and we all assemble in the central plaza. As I approach, I gaze around in awe. There, lined up together with me are thousands... no millions... of others. All of us are standing there in neat rows, hoping to be selected by the royal officers for one of the special missions. None of us quite know what the missions are or if we are qualified, but we are all hoping.

I can see some friends from a distance, but in my row I'm surrounded by strangers. I look down at my clothing and feel dumpy, inadequate. The smartly dressed officers have begun circulating but it’s almost too much to hope for.

All of a sudden, an officer marches down my row. Without any warning, he stops directly in front of me.

“Chava Stein?” he asks.

Disbelieving, I nod.

“You have been selected for a special mission,” he informs me.

“ME?!” I blurt. “Are you sure that you have the right person?” I glance again around me, at the well-dressed, competent-looking women waiting expectantly.

“You are Chava Stein, correct?” he confirms.

“Yes, but... there are so many more qualified people here!”

He looks down the papers he is carrying. “The mission you’ve been chosen for has very specific requirements. We have your full profile here. The King Himself chose you, as the only one with the right combination of talent, dedication, and experience.

“Do you accept?”

I am stunned, and can only nod. An utter rush of pride fills me, and I am suddenly standing taller than anyone else in the endless plaza.

The officer nods, satisfied. “Here is your assignment,” he tells me, handing me a golden folder embossed with my name. Reverently, I accept it.

“But... but what do I do?”

He shrugs. “Your mission is top secret, but the King said He will send you to the place you need to be and you’ll figure it out.

“But first, you need to go to the King and formally request the supplies you’ll need for today’s tasks.”

“Request? From the King? How?”

I may be standing straight and tall, but the thought of speaking to the King makes me suddenly shrink to nothingness.

“Yes, that is the protocol. Go to the palace, and make your requests. The official script is in your folder.”

I carefully open the folder with trembling hands. “Siddur Tehillas Hashem,” the first line reads, with clear instructions as to where to stand, where to bow, and where to speak quietly. I am reassured that at least I will know how to behave in His presence.

“So I just go up to the palace? Just like that? And ask to see the King?”

I look over at the palace, visible in the distance. A line of petitioners spills out from the front gate, as far as the eye can see. Will I ever even make it into the door in time to begin my mission? I wonder doubtfully.

“No, you're already registered. You see that red door off to the side?” he indicates. A guard is standing beside it, sword glinting in the sunlight.

“Just show him your folder and you’ll be escorted right in.”

I look down again at the folder I am clutching. It is pristine despite my sweaty hands, and very grounding. My name is there, and the King’s royal seal. It is no mistake.

“Hurry,” the officer tells me, “the King is waiting.”

I begin walking quickly towards the red door. The officer waits for a moment to make sure I am headed in the right direction, and then walks away purposefully, holding another golden folder.

It feels like an instant later and I am standing at the great red door, facing the guard. I lose my resolve at his stern expression. Will he just send me to the end of the line?

Stammering, I tell him I was sent here, and show him my golden folder. He inspects it closely for a moment, then salutes to me. Opening the red door wide, he escorts me through a long hallway to an imposing doorway.

I barely have a moment to compose myself, and then the door is flung open. “She is here,” the guard announces loudly. “Chava Stein, with a mission from the King."

“Go,” he whispers to me, and leaves the room.

I step forward hesitantly. The room is grander than I could have imagined, imposing columns and marble floors. Stretching ahead is a crimson carpet, thick and plush, guards flanking the walls, topiaries and golden sculptures... and at the end of the room, elevated on an exquisitely carved platform, the throne itself. I can’t even bring myself to look further up, at the King.

Vainly I try to smooth my clothing, my shaitel, I know I am not dressed properly. I am ashamed, inadequate.

“Go forward,” an authoritative voice orders me.

I step forward, one step and then another. My face is down, I’m trembling at the thought that someone like me is standing in such an awe-inspiring place, and in another moment I will have to speak to the King Himself!


The voice that speaks is warm, fatherly, and I look up in surprise.

The King is looking directly at me, a soft smile on His face, and repeats. “Chava.”

I can’t look at His face, but I can’t look away.

“I’ve chosen you for a special mission,” He tells me softly. “I know you are here to present your formal requests. Please, tell me what you need.”

His voice is reassuring, and my heart slows back down.

I open my golden folder and begin: “Hareini Mekabel...”

As I praise Him for His care of all creations, His wondrous Nature, His raw power and the beauty He has created I am exultant! This is My King!

And although I am the only petitioner in the room, when I salute and proclaim my readiness to fulfill His mission, whatever it may be, I feel like the whole world is crying out together with me: “Shema Yisrael!”

Steadfast, I recite the words of the overall commitment to be a loyal servant. “Ve’ahavta Eis Hashem Elokecha,” word by word, the daily reminder of the King’s desire.

As I recount the wonders of His redeeming His nation from slavery, I feel a shift. The honor guard around the King falls back, and soon the King motions them to leave the room altogether. I look around in amazement. The great hall is empty. It is just me and the King.

He motions me to come closer, and I take three steps towards Him. “Hashem, please open my lips that I can praise You properly!”

I go through the paragraphs I have been given, words taken from the King’s own writings, beautiful in their simplicity, poetic in their symbolism, that seem to be written from deep in my own heart.

Sometimes halting, sometimes stumbling over words, other times they flow from my lips, riding on streams of intense emotion. Hashem, redeem us! Give us health, prosperity, peace!

At the appropriate place, I add my own requests. Please, help me do this properly, to have the patience and fortitude to overcome whatever comes my way! Help me do Your holy mission.

I step back, bowing left and right, and by some prearranged signal, the honor guard returns to flank the King. Humbly I offer the closing words printed inside my folder. Forgive me for my indiscretions, help me tap into the unique energy of today. Keep me on the path of truth despite the world encouraging me to stray. Many have tried to plot against us but You have always kept us safe. I want to stay loyal to You come what may!

And then it is over.

I am escorted out of the palace, pointed towards a certain building, and then I am alone.

I still have my golden folder, but there are no further instructions. Go to this place, and do your mission. What is your mission? What does it look like? There are no answers. But I was chosen for this, destined for this.

I arrive at the building and open the door. “Mommy!” I am greeted. “The toilet overflowed, the school bus is almost here, I forgot to study for my test, I can’t find my shoes, and I’m hungry.” I take a deep breath and smile. I alone have been sent here. This must be my mission. “Come, sweetheart,” I tell him. “Let’s help you start your day right.”
Back to top



Post Mon, May 22 2023, 8:48 am
Wow. You are an amazing writer. I want to read this every morning.
Back to top



Post Mon, May 22 2023, 9:30 am
You MUST publish this!
Back to top



Post Mon, May 22 2023, 9:30 am
I can’t thank you enough for writing this! Wow
Back to top



Post Mon, May 22 2023, 9:58 am
Thank you!
Back to top



Post Mon, May 22 2023, 10:03 am
I absolutely love this! I found myself getting chills as I read it which turned into tears by the end. You write amazingly well and this really hit home, I felt it. Thank you so much!
Back to top



Post Mon, May 22 2023, 11:41 pm
Fabulous writing and excellent message. This puts tefilla in a new mindset. Definitely should be printed. Thank you OP for sharing.
Back to top
Page 1 of 1 Recent Topics

View latest: 24h 48h 72h

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum -> Interesting Discussions -> Inspirational

Related Topics Replies Last Post
Please daven for Rebbi Alter
by amother
12 Wed, Sep 27 2023, 4:38 pm View last post
If you usually daven shacharis, do you say slichos? 2 Fri, Sep 15 2023, 10:21 am View last post
Do you daven for specific things on RH and YK?
by amother
7 Tue, Sep 12 2023, 5:37 pm View last post
Please Daven
by amother
0 Wed, Aug 16 2023, 11:37 am View last post
Do you daven every day? 27 Tue, Jun 27 2023, 12:49 pm View last post