Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ribono shel Olam


Before we go to bed, we Jews pray the so - called “Bedtime Shema”. A special prayer consisting of different prayers and Psalms ending with “Adon Olam”. After we finish the entire “Bedtime Shema”, we do not speak anymore but go to sleep. 

The first prayer of the “Bedtime Shema” is called “Ribono shel Olam – Master of the Universe”. In this prayer, we examine our deeds of the day. The good ones as well as negative deeds. We ask G – d to judge us merciful and not use any punishment giving each of us more suffering in life. 

As the Talmud Tractate Berachot 5 teaches, Jews who undergo bad periods of times and suffering should examine their deeds. If they cannot find any negative deeds they should handle the issue as if they had neglected their Torah studies. 

I am not at all saying that if someone is unemployed, sick or poor is guilty of having acted in a negative way ! However, everything happening in our lives is up to G – d and should teach us something. Positive and negative incidents. 

What we also do while praying “Ribono shel Olam” is forgiving other people who have hurt or offended us during the day. It depends on my forgiveness mood whether I say this prayer or rather leave it out and start with the second one “HaMapil”. If I am not able to sincerely forgive someone but still say the prayer, does it mean the prayer or forgiveness counts ? Saying a prayer with no true intention ? I don’t think that this is right. On the other hand, if we ask G – d to be merciful why shouldn’t we act the same way ? 

I came to the conclusion that we shouldn’t take everything too seriously when other people offend us. There are times when it is wise to simply ignore other people’s sayings and actions but there are also times when we must defend ourselves. It can be hard to forgive and I sometimes still leave out the prayer.


REINCARNATIONS in Talmud and Prayer

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