Friday, February 02, 2007


Another time, it started to rain after sunset, following an entire day of fasting and praying. When the people thought this to be a sign that Hashem had been interested to hear their prayers, Shmuel again assured them that Hashem's purpose was only to humble them with distress before alleviating their suffering. What did Shmuel believe would indicate worthiness? The Gemora answers, if the Shliach Tzibur said mashiv haruach
and the wind began to blow; or morid hageshem and it began to rain.

The question can be asked that what is the meaning of the verse that states “Before you call out, I answer you”. Kehilas Prozdor cites the Divrei Yosef who notes the Mishna (Berachos 34b) where Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa knew if his prayers for the sick were successful, by how fluently he said them. It would seem that his prayers were fluent only after and because Hashem had previously decided to heal the sick person. As Rabbi Chanina couldn't know this, he felt compelled to daven anyway. However, where the subject of the Tefilah is there, in front of the Mispalel, the prayer cannot be answered until after the Tefilah is concluded, to ensure that the Mispalel will still pray.

This may also explain the Midrash (60:4) which states that the prayers of three were immediately answered: 1) Moshe - when he concluded his Tefilah, the earth opened and swallowed Korach; 2) Shlomo - when he concluded his Tefilah, fire came down from Shomayim and consumed the Korban; 3) Eliezer - before he concluded, Rivka had already appeared. Why was Eliezer's prayer fulfilled before he concluded? Because Eliezer did not know Rivkah and therefore, he would continue to daven even after she arrived.