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iAttach-Amidah-Kavanot for the Three Weeks-Demanding of God

On the Eve of Yom Kippur the Berdichever undertook his ritual immersion quite late in the afternoon, explaining his tardiness with the following story: “A woman who is required by the laws of the Torah to take a ritual immersion at a specified time had refused to do so. Her husband chided her, but she defended herself on the ground that her husband gave her too meager an allowance for food. I justified her in this protest, and her husband promised to increase the household allowance. I then thought to myself; why should not I, like this woman, refuse to take my ritual immersion until God assures me that He will grant an increased allowance of benefits for His people. And this I have obtained from Him (Rabbi Dov Leover, page 13).”


The Berditchever used this strategy, with a little bit of audacity, on a day which is for most of us the most terrifying day of the year. Yet, the holy rabbi felt that specifically because of the seriousness of the day, he could turn to God and demand from Him the same level of commitment that He demands of us.

Although we are not on the level of this holy Rabbi, perhaps we can use his approach during the Three Weeks: we can repeat to God, at the conclusion of each of the 13 middle blessings of the Amidah, “Bring us back to You, God, and we shall return (Lamentations 5:21),” You must first respond to our prayers before we can fully return to You!

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