December 12, 2019 / 14 Kislev, 5780 • Parshat Vayishlach
Issue 592
Dedicated in loving memory of Mrs. Miriam Friedman

As Jacob is about to face his brother Esau, he prays to G-d that his meeting be peaceful.
Jacob began his prayer, "I am no longer worthy, due to all the acts of kindness and trustworthiness that You have done for me, Your servant."

Bereishit 32:11

Selfless Prayer

Although Jacob was certainly aware of his many merits, he was also able to rise above natural human shortsightedness and realize how infinitely indebted we are all to G-d. With this perspective, Jacob humbly assumed that his merits were insufficient to deserve G-d's protection. Therefore, he petitioned G-d to save him and his family not on account of his own merits -- although he was indeed worthy -- but out of G-d's pure kindness.

Following Jacob's example, whenever we ask something of G-d, we too should appeal solely to His kindness and compassion. If we ask for assistance based on our worthiness -- and we all certainly possess many merits -- G-d's response will be limited to the extent of our worthiness. But when we humbly disregard our worthiness, demonstrating that we, like Jacob, have risen above our natural shortsightedness, G-d will respond with blessings that transcend the natural order.

From Kehot's

Daily Wisdom #1