Why Don’t Jews Like To Pray?
THE POWER TO HEAL
Rabbi Eli Glaser runs Soveya, an organization dedicated to helping people refrain from overeating and emotional eating. He said that for those clients who are open to it, he uses prayer to help keep them focused — to heal.
“I try to help my clients realize that they should feel whole, feel full, not with food but with God,” he said. “We use prayer so we can give our problem to God and use God as a vehicle for dealing with our issues, as opposed to stuffing ourselves with food.”
Rabbi Glaser said that people often look at compulsive overeaters and ask how can they — intelligent, sophisticated people — engage in behavior they later regret?
He said it is because at the time, they lose clarity and objectivity.
“Prayer is a great tool to help prevent us — counterbalance us — from rationalizing those actions with food that we will always regret,” said Rabbi Glaser.
SOVEYA PRAYER FOR ABSTINENCE
Please, Hashem, help me to overcome my desire and craving for unhealthy foods. Give me the clarity and commitment to stick with the necessary changes. Help me overcome my fears — fear of giving up foods I enjoy, fear of the extra work inv-olved in preparing healthy food, fear of being hungry or feeling deprived. Please help me eat so I can properly care for the precious body You have entrusted to me. Without this body working properly, I cannot fulfill Your mitzvos and carry out the many responsibilities You have given to me. I’ve tried so many times to eat right and failed just as many times with this difficult nisayon — I can’t do it without Your limitless power behind me. Please give me the willingness to ask for Your help today.
THE BIG Ks
When talking about prayer, one often hears the terms kevah and kavanah.
Kevah is a Hebrew word that means fixed. Kavanah means intention. In Judaism, the prayers said are fixed, written down and repeated during every service. Even so, as Jews, we strive to pray not merely as if we have memorized the text, as if reciting the words without meaning, but rather we strive to be focused and intentional, adding meaning to the words being said.
Maayan Jaffe is JT editor-in-chief — firstname.lastname@example.org
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