Kochav M’Yaakov: Prayer Tools: Life In The Palm
The 3rd of Tevet is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Yaakov HaCohen Gadisha (1851-1909), Rav and Av Beis Din of Yerba, Tunisia, wrote Kochav Yaakov, Ma’il Yaakov and Halichos Yaakov.
The Talmud (Ta’anit 8a) teaches: A person’s prayer will not be heard unless he places his soul in the palm of his hand, as the verse says, “Let us lift our hearts with our hands to God in heaven.” (Lamentations 3:41)
We can understand this teaching in two ways: A person, each time that he prays, must imagine that his life depends on this prayer. If he does not pray with the intensity that all depends on this prayer, his prayer will not be heard.
We can also read this as referring to God’s Hand: A person must pray each prayer with a sense that he must raise his soul from God’s Hand to save himself from death. (Kochav M’Yaakov Ta’anit 8a)