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Praying using specific terminology


When we pray we are taught to be as specific as possible. This is one of the reasons why we invoke the mother’s name as opposed to the father’s of whom we are praying. We find similarly that עמלק tried to hide their identity so we would wrongly pray for salvation from a different nation. Why is exactitude such a necessary component of תפלה?

Thank you so much for everything you do.


What you are referring to is when Amalek attacked the Jews after Aharon died, they changed their language to disguise themselves so that the Jews would daven to be saved from the Canaanim, and they would therefore be davening for the wrong thing, and for something that doesn’t exist. Even if Hashem will grant their tefilloh, they didn’t request to be saved from Amalek, rather from Canaan. The Jews however detected that their dress was of Canaan but their speech was of Amalek, therefore they daven a general tefilloh, so when it is answered t can apply to whoever it is that is attacking them.  See Rashi Bamidbar 21–1. The idea here is not that tefilloh has to be specific, rather it has to be accurate. In fact from this story we see that it doesn’t have to be specific, rather correct. Using a person’s mother’s name would have the same idea.

In truth istat we specifically don’t daven for specific things, rather for what Hashem wants. For example when davening for a shidduch, we don’t daven to marry a specific person, maybe this person is not the right one? Therefore we daven a more general tefilloh, that Hashem should send us our bashert.

Have a good Shabbos

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