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Weaver ; and many others. They used to carry their tools publicly about with them, and said :
* גדולה מלאכה שמכבדת את בעליה • Every trade is honourable , it
honours the master."*
195. With what thoughts shall we pursue our labours ?
With confidence in God; without apprehension and anxious cares; and in the pious hope, that God will send us blessing and prosperity in our undertaking from his high abode in heaven.
.ynovno 1999 y'vyn lo7 58 59 “ Recommend thy doings to the Eternal, and thy purposes will surely prosper.” (Prov. 16 ch. 3 v.)
* The like rules of life, admonitions to pursue an active and useful employment, and to abstain from a more speculative than active state, are to be met with in many passages of the Talmud. “Love labour,” say tho sages, “and hate appearing the great man!” (Aboth, I.) “ Skin the car. cass of a beast in the street, and receive the wages due to thee for it, and say not, I am of too respectable a family, &c. but at all events endeavour to be independent of others.” (App DinDD) " Live as poorly on the Sabbath, as in the week days, but only ask nothing of any man;" and many others.
Nay, they even granted dispensation to the mechanic or day-labourer from onerous religious dutics, as the saying of long prayers &c., so that he may not be compelled to neglect his work, and thus prevent him from doing justice to his employers.
OF MEANS TO BECOME PIOUS.
196. What should we do to become daily more virtuous?
We should often seriously reflect, how indispensably necessary virtue is, and how many beneficent effects we reap from its practice; we should also seek the intercourse of virtuous and good men; read sedulously and attentively the word of God in the Holy Scriptures, and lastly we should ask the grace and assistance of God with the greatest possible devotion—in other words, we should pray.
197. When can we be properly said—TO PRAY?
When we raise our thoughts to God; when we lay our wishes and petitions, for ouiselves or others, before him, or when we are joyous because of his mercy, and are directing our thanks to him, the author of all good;—in these cases, we are said to pray.
198. How should we pray ?
If we will offer up a true prayer, we must feel devotion, meekness, and sincere earnestness of heart. 73731 v3 ab 770vi nn onke inai “ A contrite spirit is an ac.
gian xeb d'oche ceptable offering to thee, O God! a meek and humble heart thou wilt not despise.” (Ps. 51, v. 19.)
199. What consequences may we expect from such a sincere prayer?
That the All-good will grant us that graciously, for which we have prayed to him; if he, in his wisdom, finds it conducive to our real advantage and prosperity. For
nosa 17877 10x sob 1877 hab'2177 “ The Eternal is near un
• Dy'VI'l you" Onyw osi nwy' 1'87771897 to all who call upon him in uprightness. He grants the desire of those who fear him, and hears their supplication and assists them.” (Ps. 145, v. 18.)
CT OF PRAYING ITSELF
200. Has not the act OF PRAYING ITSELF already a very beneficial tendency for us?
It has ; the devotional directing of our thoughts to God, elevates our soul, makes us contented with the will of Provi. dence—magnanimous and just towards others—and gives us strength to fulfil our duties with alacrity.
201. Explain to me more clearly, how the mere praying itself can become useful.
If we bring our wishes before God, we must of necessity be taught to examine and test them, if they are really such as we ought to address to the throne of mercy, and if they spring from pure motives. If we find ourselves in any difficulty, and ask the help and the mighty assistance of God, we will be taught to inquire, if we ourselves have not been the first cause of our being in this difficulty, and if we cannot employ our own capacities so as to draw ourselves out of it. If we pray for others, our soul must participate in their misfortune, and we must become inclined to benevolence and charity. And in returning thanks, we enjoy the good once more in the purest manner, since we refer* it back to the source of all good.
* The Hebrew expresses praying by the word bonn, the reciprocum of 550 to judge, to test; therefore, to test one's self. Prayer: opbon self-examina
202. Is it proper to shake the body, and raise the voice during prayer?
No; it is rather a conduct unbecoming a rational man, and it morcover disturbs the collectedness of mind, necessary for devotion ; and it is accordingly in every respect contrary to the regulations, which our sages have recommended to be observed during the time, we are offering our prayers to God.
203. What regulations have they laid down?
350 ndio 777'73 ohon “ Praying requires devotion and collected. ness of thought."
novimba 909 7713 banhon "Prayer without devotion, is like an inanimate* body.”
1583 1987 78Ti nisenon ho vas na ndo" “ Therefore it is ne1374205 moiyo nayo ng'avn 30% moiy xin cessary, that a man
Soruyobo naps yan.'901 should guard himself very carefully against the diversion of his thoughts, and consider himself as in the immediate presence of God's majesty, and pre
* That our wise men thought devotion and collectedness of thought the first and chief requisites for prayer, can also be clearly proven by the short formule, which they have instituted for those who are at sea, at a danger. ous place, or in any other situation, in which long prayers and serious reflection become impossible. (Talmud, Berachoth, fol. 29.) Of these formule Maimonides adduces only the following:
ninnep anyti d'anno 5898 goy gay “ The wants of thy peoanni ini babynnu inkar 'n goud50971847 ple Israel are many; ziuningidno '7 77'111 It'ua baby indung 'n but their knowledge
obon you 'n nnx gia nvy ya'ya is weak and limited. O may it please thee, Eternal, our God ! to give to each his maintenance, and whatever he may want for body and soul. Do however unto us, as seems best to thee in thy wisdom ; thy will be done ! Praised be thou, O Eternal, who hearest our prayers !”
serve a respectful posture, like that a servant observes before his mas. ter.” (Maimonides on the law of Prayer.) And thus says the prophet (Amos 4 ch. 12 v.) : “ Prepare thyself, O Israel, to meet thy God.”
To prevent therefore our disturbing ourselves or others, we should follow the example of Hannah: niya irinov po nas by 07270 X 977 “ And Hannah spoke for
• you'n'b ozbipi herself; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard.”' (1 Sam. 1 ch. 13 v.)
204. Sould we also pray for others ? Yes, it is the duty of every man; and our learned men say : 727 nis 7'ng siningan by shenon ho “ He, who prays for his
oboon nay) 1977 neighbour, and stands in need of the same thing, will be helped first.”
205. Does Holy Writ furnish us any example ? Yes, a great many. For instance, when God said to Moses : •4992 nuas gois nvyN D5289 5 noun ninyi “ But now desist pray
:'2017bx '07 'Dns nos bonus ing for them, for I will destroy them, and make thee a great nation. Thereupon Moses besought the Eternal his God.” (Exo. 32 ch. 10 v.)
And Jeremiah and the other prophets did the same.
206. Did any of the patriarchs and other persons, mentioned in Scripture, ever pray for other nations ?
Yes ; for when king Solomon consecrated the temple, he prayed most earnestly—that God, in his goodness, might graciously accept the prayers of other nations, hear their supplications, and assist them in their danger. (1 Kings, 8 ch. 41 v. and 2 Chron. 6 ch. 32 v.) When Abraham was informed of the impending destruction of Sodom and Gemorah, on account