The following letter was penned by a resident of Lakewood, New Jersey. For the benefit of JDA readers, an English translation appears below. (Thank you to B. Klein for the excellent translation!)
The Potential Of Prayer On This Great Day!
To my dear friends and brothers, residents of Lakewood,
In truth, I am not worthy of sending forth an inspirational letter for people who far surpass me in stature and in greatness. However, as a sign of gratitude for all those who strengthened me in my hour of need, I resolved to put these words into writing. May all who wish to benefit, come forth and benefit.
It is a well-known fact that throughout the year, one is not obligated to give tzedakah (charity) until the integrity of the recipient has been verified. This rule applies at all times, except on the day of Purim. On this day, “Anyone who extends his hand is givenĀ. One does not scrutinize the beneficiary at all.
Many Rabbis explain that this concept of “anyone who extends his handĀ, applies to tefillah (prayer) as well. Any Jew, who turns an open palm to beseech something from the Ribono Shel Olam (Almighty G-D) on Purim, is granted his request.
Although HaShem (G-D) always answers those who call out to Him, there are many factors that can impede a prayer upon its ascent heavenward. There may be imperfections in the prayer or in the one who is putting in the request. However, on the elevated day of Purim, the person’s character and deeds are not examined. Rather, anyone who extends his hand to request is given. It depends only on whether he “extends his handĀ to request, or not.
Many people have heard of this concept, yet they fail to fulfill its implications. They see it merely as a Āsheiner vortĀ, a clever interpretation. It is for this reason that I have come to arouse you to the potential of prayer on this great day of Purim!
There is not a person who does not have his share of troubles and anxieties. The exalted time of Purim is a precious opportunity, given to lighten our physical and spiritual burden. It is incumbent upon us to snatch this extraordinary chance! Each person should arouse himself in all aspects of prayer, to plead and to beseech of HaShem everything that is in his heart.
With my own eyes, I have witnessed the fulfillment of this potential, both in regard to myself and to others. It is already many years that those who have seen fit to grab this opportunity have invested added effort into the daily prayers of Purim, either by reciting Tehillim (Psalms) or requests in their own language. The prayers were answered shortly after Purim. In fact, funny cat pictures within our own community, there are many who can testify to the incredible results that the prayers offered on Purim have brought forth.
There are some practical supplications to bear in mind. It is written that, although we have many things to pray for, it is best to concentrate on one specific request. If one wishes to attain something that appears of major importance, it is more effective if he/she devotes his prayers exclusively towards achieving that thing.
Also, [as the day of Purim tends to be extremely hectic,] it is wise to follow the examples of many people who retire immediately after the reading of the Megillah (scroll of Esther read on Purim) in the evening, instead of spending time at gatherings of friends and relatives. In the morning, they arise before dawn and occupy themselves with fervent prayer or with saying Tehillim, and they then learn Torah until the designated time for Shachris (morning prayers). The rest of the day is devoted towards fulfilling the mitzvos commandments) of Purim amidst much joy.
All of the people who spend their Purim in this manner have testified that they have seen great assistance in the areas that they prayed for. In addition, the intrinsic joy of Purim took on a new dimension, as they felt that they were truly gaining the utmost from this incredible day.
Because I am also among those who have seen the tremendous salvations achieved by spending Purim in this manner, I resolved to awaken the public and urge them to utilize this special opportunity. All those who wish to benefit, should benefit, with the help of HaShem.
We wish one and all a very healthy and happy Purim!