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Vayikra"When a man among you brings an offering to Hashem…" (Vayikra 1:2).
The third Chumash of the Torah mainly teaches us the laws of the sacrifices the Jews offered in the Tabernacle in the desert and in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Unfortunately, due to our many sins, we no longer have these holy places and we cannot bring sacrifices to Hashem. However, the Sages taught that Prayer is a substitute for the sacrifices.
Indeed, we all pray to Hashem for our needs. But do we ever beseech Him for our neighbor's needs? Imagine a father who comes home from a hard day's work and sees his son Dani waiting for him at the door. He understands that his son wants something from him, and he is more than a bit annoyed that the boy is poised to "attack" him as soon as he steps into the house; before he even takes off his coat and grabs a bite to eat. But a father is a father and a son is a son, and Dad asks Dani what he needs.
Imagine his surprise when Dani answers, "Oh, I need lots of things, but they can wait. I came to tell you that my brother Uri's shoes are badly torn and he needs a new pair urgently. But since you just bought him a new pair of pants, he is ashamed to ask for more. So I came to tell you that he really needs them badly, and perhaps you would agree to buy him a pair anyway."
How much nachas does the father have that he has such a wonderful caring son who is concerned for his brother and can't wait to plead his case; putting his own needs aside for now? Is there any doubt that he will buy the shoes for Uri; and perhaps even something for Dani?
Our Father in Heaven is no different. When one Jew prays for another one's needs, He is proud of His children who care for each other and will provide for the necessities of both of them.
In Rabbi Zilberstein's new book, Borechi Nafshi on Vayikra, he tells a beautiful story about a young Torah scholar who owned a lot of property. A jealous person informed the authorities that something might not be "kosher" there, and they began an inquiry, as a result of which the young man was in danger of losing all that he owned. The young man did not know what to do.
A neighbor of the Torah scholar knew all about his problem and was very disturbed. He knew that this fine young man had taken care of his sick father for many years and had been totally devoted to him. Besides staying at his side in the hospital, ignoring his own personal needs, he had spent lots of money, which he did not have at that time, to make his father as comfortable as possible.
The neighbor wanted to help the young man, but did not know what he could possibly do to save him. Finally, he decided to turn to the Almighty; for Whom nothing was impossible. He prayed to Hashem and said, "Master of the Universe, only You know how much money and energy this fine young man spent for his father. He never let anything stand in his way when it came to making the ailing man more at ease. I beg of You, please help him now in his hour of need."
Only a few hours later, the young man came to inform the neighbor that, miraculously, the problem had ceased to be. "I have no idea, and I don't understand, how this happened," he exclaimed; not knowing about his neighbor's prayer for his benefit.
Shema Yisrael Torah Network