Thank you for all your wonderful publications and website.
Can you please clarify the subject of making Bakashos on Shabbos and Yom Tov – including Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Are you permitted to make personal prayers at those times? Does it make a difference if it’s a tefila in the Ruchniyus realm or not?
Perhaps this would be a good subject for your weekly column, especially now before Rosh Hashana!
Best wishes for continued hatzlacha!
Thank you for the compliment!
It is brought from the Zohar 6-22(1) that a person that asks for personal things on Rosh Hashana, that he is looked upon like a dog that is only interested in the food that he is asking for. Additionally, on Shabbos and Yom Tov we don’t ask for personal things. However things that involve ruchnius is permitted, as we do numerous times over Shabbos, such as saying yukum porkon, brich shmei, kadsheinu bmitzvosecha, etc. The Yaaros Devash says that what the Zohar is talking about does not apply to physical things that we are need in order to do Hashem’s will. For example, if we ask for health so we can bring up our children and do mitzvos, that is asking for Hashem’s things, and part of making him king. This is in fact what we daven for זכרינו לחיים… למענך אלוקים חיים, we daven for life for you and your service! The same things is with “וכתוב לחיים טובים… וכל החיים יודוך” סלה, “writes us for life, because the living thank you”!
The poskim however say that we are allowed to ask for and in fact it is a good thing to ask for personal requests. Some Poskim however say that the personal requests should be saved for the end of shemona esrei, ןin middle of Elokai Nitzor, where we can insert our own personal prayer.
I once heard a very nice from R’ Eliyahu Diskin shlit”a, how asks, that how do we understand this, on one hand the Zohar says that if we do, we are like a lowly dog that doesn’t understand anything but to ask for bones, but on the other hand the R’ Y. Slanter and the Chazon Ish and other poskim said differently?
R’ Diskin explains this with a beautiful moshul. A king wanted to build a new palace, and he got together a lot of money, and divided the tremendous project into different parts. He called a meeting among his children, and each one way to take a job, so he asked each one what they would like. The oldest one said that he wants to take care of the finances. The next one said he wants to oversee the actual building of the palace. The third one said he wants to oversee the interior decorating. The fourth one said he wants to be in charge of the gardens, and orchards etc. The sixth son was sitting on a couch and asked what he wants said, “I wouldn’t mind a can of coke”. The king was enraged at what his son said and told him, “from the time the palace is built, for three years you are not going to step foot in there, if you don’t want to build it, you won’t have a part in it!”
There was another son, but he wasn’t at the meeting. This son got sick with a terrible illness and he lay motionless and practically unconscious for months. The king would check up on him from time to time, and he tried everything he could but he was just very weak, wasn’t eating and couldn’t even open his eyes. That day after the meeting the king went to visit his son, and to his father’s great surprise, he opened his eyes and asked for a drink! The king was so excited, he quickly told his servants to bring his son whatever he asks for. He sixth son heard what happened and we asked the king, “why is it, that when I asked for a drink I got punished, but when my brother asked, you gave him whatever he asked for?” The king answered, “you silly son, your brother is very, very weak, and can barely talk. I have been waiting for him to be able to talk to me for months, he finally spoke to me, that is the biggest happiness for me. You on the and you didn’t ask to help build the palace, all your interested in is yourself, so you got punished!”
In the previous generations, people were more connected to Hashem, their neshomos and connection to Hashem was healthier and stronger. Therefore, when it came time to building the palace, they were expected to concentrate only on building the palace. However, in the later generations we are unfortunately very weak, and the king is very happy when we at least daven and make a heartfelt request to him. How often do we daven and have the feeling that we are standing in front of Hashem who is the total boss, and in control of everything? How often do we actually feel that we are standing in front of the king, who controls every aspect of our lives? When we finally get that feeling on Rosh Hashana, and we ask Hashem with all of our heart, and say, “Hashem the world belongs to you, you are the king, and you control everything, I need you to give me health, a shidduch, happiness, etc…. This for us is a tremendous way of making Hashem the king. Therefore, what was unacceptable in previous generations, is now a big accomplishment. This is why R’ Yisroel Salanter and the Chazon Ish etc. said that nowadays we may ask for personal requests.
Have a kesiva v’chasima tova
Mateh Efrayim 584-25 Piskei Tehuvos 582-7, Oz Nidberu 14-21(1),Dinim Hvanhagos 20-5 in the name of the Chazon Ish, Orchos Rabeinu 2-pg. 181, Halichos Shlomo 17-11, Be’er Yisroel pg. 33, Hilchos Chodesh Tishrei pg. 53 in the name of R Eliyashiv that since Rosh Hashana is meant to be a day of tefillah, that it is permitted, even when Rosh Hashana is on Shabbos, however personal requests shouldn’t be said during mussaf, rather by the other tefillos.