How And What I Pray For

I would like to share with you how I pray and what I pray for!

As someone who can no longer enunciate words of the prayers, how do I pronounce the formal words of the prayer book?

Throw into the mix that I lack the stamina to pray long prayers as they appear in the prayer book.

But who says that one must actually move their lips when praying?

We derive this from Channah.

She was childless and because of this she was tormented by her co – wife, Pennina.  She therefore went to the Mishkan(Tabernacle)to pour out her heart to Hashem.

Aily, the high priest, witnessed this highly unusual prayer and tried to put a stop to it.  Until that time people prayed in their heads without moving their lips.

So strange was this in his eyes, when he saw her moving her lips as she prayed, he actually accused her of being intoxicated!

Channah explained to Aily that she was broken-hearted and was praying with every ounce of strength that she had.

We learn from Channah that we should move our lips when we pray.

But where does that leave me? Count this up as one of the many things I can’t do.

As always I happily have a way out of this dilemma!

As always it might look different, but it is largely the same!

Upon consultation with our Rabbi, we came up with a game plan.

I could manage with Shema and on good days I should pray Shemoneh Esrei.

I do this as in the past with my Tallis and Tefillin.

Now how in the world does a paralyzed man do THAT?

Ever since I came home in my present state five years ago, I’ve had the good fortune of having a team of Tefillin men place my Tallis and Tefillin on me!

That leaves a lot of empty Tefillah time.

Yes, but not really.

I spend a lot of my time in informal prayer.

I pray on most occasions that I should live to participate in each of my nine children’s weddings.

But primarily I “talk” to Hasham as I go down the list of those who I am responsible for.  They are my family members.

From the eldest (who is 22 years old) to the youngest (who is 4 years old) each should have what they need and desire.

This is besides the important things that come up which we need Hashems mercy for.




  1. Miriam Taub · · Reply

    You are, as always, so inspiring especially at this time of year when we are approaching the most important tefillos days of RH & YK. May Hashem listen to your tefillos always and grant you all your dreams & wishes!!

    1. And may Hashem grant all of your hearts desires!

  2. Rabbi! All your tefillot should be answered letova! You and Shaindel and your beautiful children are a light to us all. Thank you for blogging…you are very inspiring!

    1. And thank you for all you’ve done for me over the past 13 years!

  3. Zev Singer · · Reply

    After reading this post, I’m going to try to daven Mincha this afternoon with extra effort.

    1. You go Bro!!!

  4. Rachel T Stein · · Reply

    And I pray that all of your prayers will be answered!

    1. Together with all of Israel, Amain!

  5. Noam Steinman · · Reply

    May we all be zocheh to be able to thank God for everything we have, no matter the situation we find ourselves in! Thank you for the reminder and the inspiration!

    1. Well put, Noam! I’m delighted you can follow along in Israel!!!

  6. Unstructured prayer is more important than structured, although we do need both.

    1. right you are ! you make me feel good!

  7. Marge Kaplan · · Reply

    Your faith has been a bulwark to carry you through. You are a model for all of us.


  8. Ashira Prizant · · Reply

    Hi, Rabbi Simes,
    Thank you for your powerful post! A related topic came up in discussion with one of my Torah High classes last week. I read the students your words and they were very touched, moved and inspired. Thank you, as always, for sharing your amazing bitachon and emunah with us. IyH may all your tfillos be answered ltova! Wishing you and your whole family all the best for the new year.

    1. Wow you just made my day! When I hear that I have made an impact on peoples lives in return I get the inspiration to continue on my quest.

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