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Kinah 25-Tears In Prayer

“Would that my head were water, and my eyes a fountain of tears.” One who prays with tears is assured that his prayers will be heard, for the gates of tears are never closed. Tears poured in prayer have the spiritual status of the Water Libations on the Altar, as the Midrash (Bereishit Rabbah 78) teaches: “Rabbi Bon says, ‘All the years that Jacob was in Bet El, he never ceased from pouring water libations.’ Rabbi Yochanan said, ‘If one could calculate how much water Jacob poured in libations would be able to measure the hot springs of Tiberius.’ This means, that just as it is impossible to measure the hot springs of Tiberius, so too, one cannot measure the tears Jacob shed when he prayed in Bet El.

Only God can measure tears, as the verse (Psalms 56:9) says, “Place my tears in Your flask, are they not in Your record?” The Talmud (Shabbat105b) describes God as counting and treasuring each tear, measuring the feeling and passion burning within, and then placing it in a special treasure room. (Rabbeinu Yonah, Gates of Service # 11)

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