Somebody in the kollel came up to me the other day and decided (wrongly) to try out his English, saying [insert Israeli accent] “I like your sister very much”.
The first thing that flashed through my mind was the restaurant scene from The Blues Brothers, where they turn to the family next to them and say [insert something like Israeli accent], “How much for your women… your wife… your daughters…?”
It’s amazing what sticks in your head.
Anyhow… I said in Hebrew, “I don’t have any sisters for you to like”, and, I admit I enjoyed it, his face fell when he realized what he said. “Perhaps you like my daughter?” who is good friends with his. Needless to say, the rest of the conversation stayed in Hebrew, where it belonged.
“When Pharaoh’s cavalry came with his chariots and horsemen into the sea” (Shemos 15:19).
The Rashbam (Pesachim 117a) writes that after the Jewish people crossed the Red Sea, they recited the “Not for our sake, Hashem …” (Tehillim 115), out of fear that the Egyptian army would emerge from the sea and attack them.
An obvious question arises from this. After everything the Jewish people saw with their own eyes, how could there be any doubt concerning the Egyptian army? Hashem had taken care of them so far, obviously, there was nothing to be afraid of.
Rav Ezra Brizel explains that we learn from here a very important lesson. Despite everything the nation experienced, they still felt that they had an ongoing obligation to pray at all times, even when seemingly, everything is fine. Davening is something that is ongoing and should be on a Jew's lips throughout the day.
My wife recently asked Rav Moshe Chalkowski about something she and her friends have noticed throughout life. Recently, she saw a small dish that we use regularly. She thought to herself, “What a great find that was!” Within an hour, somebody knocked it over and shattered it. Many times, she noticed things like this happen.
Rav Chalkwoski said that even a person’s thoughts could create an opening for damage, and one should train oneself to always daven, that things (objects, people, events) should always be for the good. When one hears good news, they should always give a bracha that such good things should continue. When one even has good thoughts about something, they should always give a bracha that it should continue.
Before one goes out on a shopping trip, a quick prayer that the shopping should go smoothly, the ride there and back should be safe, that all should be accomplished in good timing, etc.
Davening is not something reserved for three times a day or when things are not good. Small 5-second prayers here and there are just as powerful and keeps people connected to Hashem every moment that they are awake.
Have a great Shabbos!