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Beit HaLevi: Specific Prayer

The Beit HaLevi (Genesis 32:11) derives from Jacob’s prayer to be saved from the murderous intentions of his brother, Esau, that one must be specific in prayer. “Please save me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau.” Jacob did not need to specify both. God and we would have known who his brother was and who Esau was. Jacob was being as specific as possible in his prayer.

This thought echoes the Zohar (Volume 1, 169a) that one must be specific when praying. Jacob considered that people often refer to close relatives and friends as brothers; therefore Jacob specified that he was asking to be saved from Esau.

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