Forgiveness and Prayer

Question

Hello,

I apologize for your time, I am a gentile trying to figure out the proper instruction for one being afflicted based on the verse “Let him sit alone and wait”. Although I read from (English) Rashi that this is an expression of waiting, I thought “Yidom” also means silence, supporting the Pirkei Avot that nothing is better for the body than silence (I think). I’m asking because I’m wondering whether a person experiencing afflictions that would be a literal version of pains that the prophet talks about, and I am wondering whether it would be better to pray continuously or be silent. Moshe said a very short prayer that was effective to heal Miriam, so I have been simply asking for forgiveness for my sins since we learn from Tehillim (90+?) that our sins are the only thing that we can complain about and I believe that these are the sources of our dismay. I’ve stopped prayers of praise based on H’ saying about Miriam that if her father spat in her face, would she not dwell outside the camp (I think)? Also, I read from The Divine Code that gentiles are discouraged from offerings although they are allowed since it is difficult to obtain the proper intention, and I have applied it here since people are able to control my heart/mind somewhat severely with technology and I’m not commanded to praise, so it may end up a Chilul H’, Heaven forbid. If you could please offer some advice on the proper way to repent and regain life peace and happiness the most effectively, I would appreciate it. I also wanted to ask about the word “Naval”. I have seen it translated as vile and withered, maybe with other vowels. In the verse, something like, “vile and unwise people”, could this be directly translated as withered with these vowels?

5 months

Answers

  1. First, please know that there is nothing to apologize for.

    Please excuse me for saying this but I feel that you are trying to achieve something positive in the wrong way. God desires our prayers, and God waits for our prayers. I understand why you are doing what you are doing, but, paradoxically, you are in danger of pushing God away by focusing only on your sins and not focusing on the love that you have for God. And, perhaps most importantly, the love that God has for you.

    The Rabbis teach that the function of prayer is to emphasize that we need God – that God is the source of all of our blessings. To ignore that leaves a person only focused on the negative dimensions of the relationship, which in turn can lead to terribly negative feelings of God being vengeful and only interested in punishing us. Nothing could be further from the truth. But when a person does not focus on the positive, they are left feeling dissatisfied and unhappy within themselves.

    In any event, the word “yidom” means to be silent. Rashi expands on the explanation and says it is like someone who waits silently. The inference is that he waits submissively in his misfortunes for better times.

    The word “naval” has various meanings and the context of the verse will define which meaning to use. As you write, it can mean whither or something disgusting. But it can also mean to exhaust, or to blaspheme, or to be foolish. It can also mean a particular kind of musical instrument.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team