Getting Our Prayers Answered

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Getting Our Prayers Answered

Karen Berg
March 16, 2012
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According to the kabbalists, everything written in the Bible has a deeper spiritual meaning beyond the physical story or description. Therefore, when we read that the Creator asks Moses to direct the people to build a tabernacle in the wilderness, we are reading about the construction not only of a physical structure, but also of a metaphysical space through which we can connect with the Light.

When the Creator says, “Build a place for Me, a house that I can be inside of you,” He is actually saying, “Create a place inside of you, in your heart and soul, where I can become a part. Get rid of the stupidity, the anger, the negativity. Take out the darkness that separates you from true fulfillment. Get rid of the depression and the judgment. Get rid of the selfishness, the “I care only about me.” Why? Because when we get rid of these things, we create a space for the Light.

Now some of you may question that if we are all part of God and that we ourselves can create this oneness with the Creator, then why do we need places to come together and connect? Can’t we just connect at home?

The answer is no. The Creator was telling Moses to create a place where a feeling of unity could come into being through an exchange of love—a place we can all go when we are down or depressed, when we are happy or excited, or even when we simply feel the need to be with people who care.

On the one hand, yes, we can connect to the Light by ourselves. Each one of us is given a string of life, and with this string we can become like the Creator. But because we’re human beings and we have our frailties, we need other strings, other energy to combine to create this oneness. We need shared places to say, “Boy, I screwed up and please forgive me.” Just as we need to create a metaphysical tabernacle within, we also need to create a physical tabernacle without for all of us.

There is a story about a great kabbalist with tremendous energy who walked into a place of worship. Almost as soon as he arrived, however, he said to a man sitting at the threshold, “I can’t go in here. It’s so full of prayer, so full of energy, so full of people’s wishes and tears, I can’t walk in.”

Surprised, confused, but well aware of the power and energy of this great kabbalist, the man responded, “Well, isn’t that what we want from a place of prayer? Don’t we want it to be full of all those things?”

“No,” said the kabbalist, “We don’t want it to be here. We want it to go to the upper worlds where the Creator can receive it. And the reason it doesn’t go up there is because all these tears and all these people are crying alone and not together. There is no oneness, no unity, in this place. And therefore, all of this energy is staying here and cannot be released above.”

Through this story, we learn that our power to make changes—to really make a difference and to have our prayers answered—is possible only if we are a part of something larger than ourselves. When we speak of a tabernacle, we are talking about a place where we meet others on the same playing field, a place where people can look in each other’s eyes and love each other, a place where we can say “I am sorry” and a place where we can say “thank you.”

This week’s energy reminds us that no man is an island unto himself. We cannot do our spiritual work alone. We need to have people around us, and through true caring for one another despite our diversity and differences, we can build a place where love can exist.