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"He [Par'oh] called to Moshe and Aharon at night and said, 'Rise up, go out from among my people, even you, even the Children of Israel; go and serve Hashem as you have spoken. Take even your sheep and even your cattle, as you have spoken, and go -- and bless me, as well!''" (Shemos 12:31-32).

Rashi explains, according to the words of the Sages, that Par'oh himself was a firstborn child. Therefore, he asked Moshe to pray for him that he not be smitten together with the others.

Apparently Par'oh had finally learned the power of Moshe's prayers to Hashem and asked him to intercede for him too. Unfortunately, even many of us who pray several times a day lack the proper attitude towards it. We don't realize that we are communicating directly with One Who hears us and, if our intentions are sincere, just may grant our request; sometimes, even immediately.

The following moving story of a young boy, who innocently felt convinced of this connection with Hashem, should inspire us to follow in his ways.

Rabbi Zilberstein, shlita, relates in his masterpiece, Aleynu Lishabeach, that a woman in Bnei Brak gave birth to her tenth child. The family was overjoyed until they heard that, although the child was well, the woman was in serious condition. The distraught husband contacted his friends immediately, and, as the word spread quickly, prayers for her speedy recovery were recited in many yeshivas and kolelim throughout Israel.

A few days later, a young yeshiva student, in the eighth grade, casually mentioned to Rabbi Zilberstein that he was sure that the woman would soon recover completely, with Hashem's help. The Rabbi was very surprised and asked the young boy how he could be so confident when she was still in critical condition. The youngster replied with a firm belief that could make us envious.

"The day the woman gave birth, I happened to pass by a synagogue and I heard the congregants reciting Tehillim and praying very intensely. I realized that something very serious must have occurred and I asked someone what the commotion was all about. They told me what had happened and I could visualize the pain of a large household, the mother of which was fighting for her life. I decided, then and there, that I wanted to try to do something to help them and so I spoke to Hashem myself. I proposed the following:

"'Hashem, as You surely know, I have applied to be accepted, for next year, in a special yeshiva for youngsters. My brothers all studied there and I want to go there too. Today I am to be interviewed by the yeshiva heads and I will be examined by them, in order to ascertain my level of learning. I am quite confident that they will accept me; as they did my brothers before me. And usually they tell the students who passed the test the good news on the spot; certainly by the end of the day. I am asking you, Hashem, that, for some reason, they prolong telling me the results for a few days. The anxiety will be almost unbearable. And I pray to You that the pain I will feel should serve as a redemption for this unfortunate, sick woman who will then feel no longer her pain, and she will recover from her illness.'"

The boy continued to relate his story, as Rabbi Zilberstein listened in amazement.

"And that is exactly what happened. I did very well on my test; I correctly answered every question and I was certain that the Rabbis were satisfied with the way I explained everything. Yet, very strangely, they dismissed me without saying a word. And when my parents called them later, accustomed to hearing good reports about their sons, they hemmed and hawed and said that they had not evaluated the results yet and probably wouldn't have an answer for a few days! My parents were beside themselves with anxiety but I knew that my prayer had been accepted. I would surely receive a positive answer in a few days, and the woman would certainly have a refuah sheleimah (a complete recovery)."

And the boy was right. He did not receive the good news until three days later, something totally not typical in that yeshiva, and, in the meantime, the woman arose from her bed and, as healthy as everyone else, returned home with her newborn; much to her family's delight.

Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Jerusalem, Israel