Rabbi Dr. Meir Sendor
Previously: Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Brandeis University
Young Israel of Sharon, MA
This lecture looks at the area of petitionary prayer, specifically for healing purposes. For the kabbalists, however, this form of prayer is considered the very essence of prayer. Prayer for healing touches upon a deep will that affects a change.
According to the kabbalistic understanding of sickness, all personal suffering is a result of the suffering of God from the lack of unification in the world. Illness is sent to the world in order that individuals will increase their consciousness of God and help heal the rifts in the world. The proper response to this situation is prayer, and it is through prayer to God that the disharmony will be restored.
True prayer for the kabbalist is only for the suffering God, and then that suffering is understood and experienced as also one’s own. This shift to the Other breaks the solipsism of pain and creates a relationship through the identification with God and the broken world.