labors of the one heart

In Sanhedrin 106b, it states that רחמנא לבא בעי - God wants your heart. Why? The Ben Ish Hai (Bo, year 1) explains: Because your thoughts follow your kavanoth (כוונות) - intentions, and your intentions dwell in your heart.

For this reason, perhaps, Tefillah, prayer, is called the labor of your heart. Similarly on a number of occasions in the Torah, people in prayer are refered to as speaking on or to their heart.

I read recently somewhere (online I think, feel free to remind me) that when we pray, we change our nature, so that the previous rulings against us no longer apply, and all of the dinim are dissolved. When we pray for the klal of Israel, we have to raise the whole nation up to a new level. That's intense.

Rebbe Nachman actually explains something really complicated that I can't claim to properly understand in which we are all connected in a chain, and whenever anyone raises themselves up, we raise up everyone.

This is hugely comforting, because it means if we can just improve ourselves, it brings down good on every one of us. Praying for the klal is the easiest way to improve everyone's situation, because we know as a whole HaShem loves us, so even if we can't ask on our own merits, we can ask for the whole. And when we ask for the whole from the depth of our hearts, we change all of our being, (our hearts first, then our minds follow our hearts, then all of our attributes follow suit) and we rise to a new elevation, bringing beracha-blessing to everyone.

This all stands to emphasize that in our heart we are all one. (יצר יחד לבם) Because through our hearts we affect one and all. This is why the deepest and most difficult circumcision is the circumcision of the heart. To cut off the bit of self in the heart, the part that wants only for us, that wants anything but God's revellation. It's that failing that keeps us seemingly broken, seemingly at a distance from one another, when we, in our hearts, have the potential at every instant to be one, to be negated (bitul) in the one-ness of God's revellation to all.


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