Tefillah Class 8/30/09
Ezekiel, Chapter 13: The word of God came to me, saying, 13:2 Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who prophesy, and say to those who prophesy out of their own heart, Hear the word of God: 13:3 Thus says the Lord God, Woe to the foolish prophets, who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! 13:4 Israel, your prophets have been like foxes in the waste places. 13:5 You have not gone up into the gaps, neither built up the wall for the house of Israel, to stand in the battle in the day of God. 13:6 They have seen falsehood and lying divination, who say, God says; but God has not sent them: and they have made men to hope that the word would be confirmed. 13:7 Haven’t you seen a false vision, and haven’t you spoken a lying divination, in that you say, God says; but I have not spoken? 13:8 Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you have spoken falsehood, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, says the Lord God. 13:9 My hand shall be against the prophets who see false visions, and who divine lies: they shall not be in the council of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and you shall know that I am the Lord God. 13:10 Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there is no peace; and when one builds up a wall, behold, they plaster it with whitewash: 13:11 tell those who plaster it with whitewash, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and you, great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall tear it. 13:12 Behold, when the wall has fallen, shall it not be said to you, Where is the plaster with which you have plastered it? 13:13 Therefore thus says the Lord God: I will even tear it with a stormy wind in my wrath; and there shall be an overflowing shower in my anger, and great hailstones in wrath to consume it. 13:14 So will I break down the wall that you have plastered with whitewash, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation shall be uncovered; and it shall fall, and you shall be consumed in its midst: and you shall know that I am God. 13:15 Thus will I accomplish my wrath on the wall, and on those who have plastered it with whitewash; and I will tell you, The wall is no more, neither those who plastered it;
The Hebrew word for plaster or whitewash is Tafel, which is related to Tefillah/Prayer. Prayer is like plaster: It must be placed on something solid.
It is a way of strengthening ideas and beliefs. We cannot plaster on empty space, if we do not know why we pray, to Whom we pray, and how prayer works.
We also spoke of sin as fighting: You created me like this. You tested me. You placed me in this environment and now You judge me!
We fight God. We feel rejected and inadequate. We are tired of the constant tests and challenges. We often sin as an expression of our anger and frustration. “I’ll do this!”
Even fighting means that we believe that what we do matters to God!
We fight and yet we still want to stand in judgment on Rosh Hashana as an expression of relationship: All the problems don’t really matter when we consider our love for You.
God reaches back to us, and agrees that the love makes all the problems insignificant. That is the Kaparah of Yom Kippur.
As long as we feel distant we are “enosh” a lower level. When we appreciate that we truly matter to God, we become Adam.
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