Question:

Hi,
I was wondering why almost our tefillos (in shemoneh esrei as well as in variou piyutim) are only for klal yisrael and not for the goyim (the ones who are nice to us) as well.
Thank you!

Answer:

Before analyzing what we pray for, let’s first understand why should Hashem want to answer our prayer in the first place? What merit do we have that our request should be granted? One of the answers is that when we pray, we essentially are praying for the honor of heaven, and Hashem’s honor. When we make requests for ourselves, our benefit brings about honor to heaven, because it shows prosperity to Hashem’s servants. The opposite is also true; when we have bad, it causes a chillul Hashem- a desecration of Hashem’s name. This only applies to Jews, because we represent Hashem’s name.

Another way of finding favor in Hashem’s eyes is that when we daven, we are not merely praying for ourselves personally, but for all of Klal Yisroel, Hashem’s nation. When we daven for the tzibbur, it is like the tzibbur is davening and it helps that our teffiloh should get answered. In fact the Arizal said that before we daven we should think that we are davening for all of Klal Yisroel, and are fulfilling the mitzva of V’ahavta L’reacha k’mocha. This is why our prayers are basically only including the Jewish nation. 

Tags: prayer righteous gentiles

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