Prayer Essentials

For the week ending 25 April 2015 / 6 Iyyar 5775

The Shemoneh Esrei - The Twelfth Blessing - Part 2

by Rabbi Yitzchak Botton
The Color of Heaven Artscroll

“And may all Your enemies be cut down speedily”

In this blessing one should offer his prayer for the eradication of idol worship from the entire world. Although nowadays idol worship is no longer prevalent amongst the Jewish People after our Sages of more than two thousand years received permission from G-d to eliminate the evil inclination for idolatry, unfortunately it still continues around the world amongst the other nations. This most grave transgression is an affront to G-d’s honor. Therefore, anyone who truly cares about G-d should feel distressed in his heart over this matter. (Rabbi Yaakov Emden)

Then and Now

In ancient times wicked men like Nimrod and Pharaoh rose to power, becoming world rulers. They accomplished this by manipulating the powers of idol worship, eventually proclaiming themselves as “gods”. Instead of leading their followers towards G-d, they rebelliously stood between G-d and the people, separating the world from its Maker. Avraham our Father, was chosen to stand up to the wicked Nimrod and his false beliefs. After conquering him, Avraham began to spread the name of G-d in the then dark world. His descendents continued this holy mission when they challenged the mighty Egyptian empire. Through Moshe our leader, G-d showed the world that only He rules in the heavens above and on the earth below. Today as well, we as G-d’s chosen people have been charged with a Divine mission. It is our role to act in a way proclaims a G-d Who is great and beloved in the world. By example we light up the darkness and dispel the doubt in today’s world, proclaiming G-d’s presence, and that He watches over and protects His people.

One G-d, One People

Not only must the Jewish Nation pray only to G-d, but in the coming era all nations will also pray to G-d. They will abandon their false beliefs, as we see in the verse, “All the nations will serve You as one; then they will proclaim among the nations that G-d reigns.” (I Chron. 16:31) In connection with the above we find in Pirkei d’Rebbi Eliezer, “There will be ten kings that will rule the world. The first was G-d, Who ruled in the heavens and on earth… and G-d will be the last King when His Divine Kingship will be fully restored here below.” In conclusion, Avraham began a process of restoring the world back to G-d that will ultimately conclude with the arrival of our righteous Mashiach.

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