Why Pray?



As in the case of a hurricane hitting FL, why pray? Is it so we feel closer to Hashem? We as individuals can’t do anything about it, but G-d can if He wills it. Why not let Him handle it without our trying to micro-manage it ourselves?

What is gained by prayer? Are we showing off to others? To G-d? To ourselves?

Is the alternative to sit by with our faith and know G-d does what’s best? If so then….why pray? Just have faith? Not that there is anything wrong with “just” having faith.

I feel led to pray about this hurricane and I may say a prayer of protection or me shebeirach which is really for the already ill, but why pray at all?

We’re partners with G-d? Is that maybe part of the reason we pray in such times?


gut yontiff,

Jeffrey Kahn

Fayetteville, NC



  1. How can prayer avert a natural disaster? Our Sages teach that communal prayer has the potential to change negative decrees. This is why the community comes together in a time of distress to pray. In fact, it is so important that the Rambam rules that in a time of great communal distress, everybody – the Tzaddikim, the Beinonim and the Reshaim – need to pray together in order to tap into the power of the community. Fascinatingly, the word for a community in Hebrew is Tzibur which is an acronym for Tzaddikim, Beinonim v’Reshaim!

    Together with that is the concept that we do not know the reasons behind Hashem’s actions, and it is entirely possible that something happens on a communal level or on an individual level, and it is Tefillah that is required to tip the balance from negative to positive.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team