PARSHAT VAYISHLACH: THE POWER OF PRAYER
By Sherrie B. Miller
“For he (Jacob) said, “if Esau comes to the one camp and strikes it down, then the
remaining camp shall survive.” (Breishit 32:9)
Rashi points out the while planning his strategy, Yaakov devises 3 plans to ensure
the survival of at least part of his entourage: gifts, prayer, and war.
According to the commentator Nachalat Moshe, this particular order of tactics was
to impress upon all future generations, that no matter what we do in life, what
we wish to achieve in our lifetime, prayer is necessary both before and after the
In Yaakov’s case, prayer for endurance and fortitude followed the giving of the
gifts as well as preceding his least favored approach of war. Anything and everything
that we long for must be accompanied by prayer, even those things that seem to occur
by natural means. This, explains the Nachalat Moshe, is the reason that we mention
the redemption, the Geula, just prior to the recitation of the Shmonei Esrei, which
is the core of our prayers and supplications to Hashem. Despite the notion that
the Geula will transpire systematically over time and in a natural fashion, we say:
“go’el Yisrael,” just before the Shmonei Ersei. This reminds and connects us to
the past redemption from Egyptian (Mitzraim”) exile and exhorts us to focus our
minds on our total dependence on Hashem for our future deliverance.
This applies likewise in the case of shidduchim. While many singles meet “naturally”
at shul, weddings or parties, others meet through introductions by friends or matchmakers.
No matter what the means, we must never forget the need for Hashem’s participation
in the facilitation of such meetings and in opening our own “metzarim,” limitations,
enabling us to see the suitability or lack of suitability of a particular potential
We need to speak to Hashem regularly as a child who is craving a new bike would
speak to his Dad. We know that he has the power to provide us with that bike and
we do not stop “nagging” him until we get it!
Difficult as it is to accept, Hashem is waiting for us to “nag” him; more than anything,
He wants a close relationship with us and longs for the deepest connection possible.
Were he to provide us will all of our needs immediately, without delay, we would
have no need to “be in touch.” But the more we want something, and the more urgently
we request it, proving that we trust that He has the power, that Hashem is ultimately
our loving Father, who wants us to have that which we so passionately crave (provided
of course that it will promote our spiritual growth), He will respond positively!
Keep the dialogue going with Hashem and He will certainly bring your bashert closer!
I have attached the beautiful tefilla for a zivug that hangs in the Holy Me’arat
Hamachpela, for all to recite in bringing about the discovery of their true soul
And may we all be zoche to pray and sing songs of praise and thanks afterwards as
Please click here for
the full Tefilla
Sherrie B. Miller is a Jewish Matchmaker
on SawYouAtSinai.com and works with
Jewish Singles all over the world. She is an educational guidance counselor,
group leader, pre-marital coach, matchmaker and Judaic Studies teacher. Sherrie
is dedicated to promoting and enhancing emotional intelligence and communication
skills in conjunction with Torah values.
Sherrie received her educational counseling degree from the Michlalah in Bayit Vegan
and an M.A. in Education and Counseling from Touro College, Jerusalem, Israel. Sherrie
also holds a B.A. in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Brooklyn College and a
B.Sc. from Yeshiva University in Jewish Education. Sherrie is certified by Midreshet
Emunah and is accredited by the Rabbanut of Israel, to be a pre-marital couple’s
counselor and Kallah teacher.
Before coming to Israel in 1989 from Great Neck, New York, Sherrie taught Judaic
Studies at the North Shore Hebrew Academy. Sherrie also educated affiliated and
unaffiliated adults through the “Project Identity” outreach program under the directorship
of Rabbi Yaakov Lerner. Sherrie trained individuals and couples in the laws of Kashrut,
Guidelines of Parenting, Parshat Shavua and Pirkei Avot.
In her work as a Guidance Counselor in the national religious “Mamad” school, "Yehuda
Halevi", Sherrie instructed life skill workshops to students, parents and teachers,
with a focus on communication, conflict resolution and anger management. She also
leads support groups for children of divorce.
Sherrie is certified by the Life Center and leads Parenting workshops based on the
Faber/Mazlish workshops on, “How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids
Sherrie is an executive board member of the Emunah World Zionist Organization, Mibreishit,
led by Rav Motti Alon, and Nishmat led my Rabbanit Hanna Henkin.
Sherrie’s diverse background in counseling and teaching, combined with torah principles
and values contribute to the depth and quality of her success with clients. Lessons
drawn from her own life transitions make her coaching perspective uniquely inspirational.
Sherrie helps individuals clarify their goals and take masterful action steps to
reach them. Sherrie is professionally known for her guidance in the educational
system as well as her outstanding capabilities teaching interpersonal relationship
skills to groups and individuals.
Having made a number of successful matches resulting in marriage, Sherrie volunteers
as a matchmaker for SawYouAtSinai, an internet matchmaking site.