Friday, August 28, 2009

Keeping my bad luck to myself

Got an email from an acquaintance:

Hey Ayelet, glad you had a great time in Alaska. The pics are great.

I administer a Tehillim group for Shidduchim -- 18 of us say specific prakim of Tehillim once a week, every week, covering the entire book weekly, having the group in mind. One of the group members got married today in israel... and i'm looking to replace her. Would you be interested in joining us? We've had success and there's been turnover...

Let me know as I'm looking for someone to start next week. If you're interested, I would need your full Hebrew name, including your mother's Hebrew name, email address and contact phone. If you won't join us, can u think of anyone who would be interested and would follow thru consistently...?

regards, Tehilla

I used to belong to a tehillim group coordinated by Elah. I had to stop because I couldn't pray. When I'm clinically depressed, I can't pray with anything approaching hope or gratitude; I'm mired in despair and resentment.

Right now, I wouldn't say I'm clinically depressed, because I'm eating and sleeping normally and functioning adequately at work. One of my clients even asked me if I fell in love on my vacation, because I seemed so relaxed and happy. I wear the mask well. But the despair and resentment are huge.

Hi Tehilla, thanks for thinking of me. I've participated in these kinds of groups before. Unfortunately, I've come to the conclusion that my prayers are only answered in the negative. Be well, Ayelet.

She wrote back succinctly:

Have a good shabbos.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. A - Your commitment to the group is to pray when you are able, i.e. when you are not in the throws of a depression. Out of a 365 day year, if you are not praying for the others 183 days or more, then you can quit. But if the majority of the days of the year you're praying for the group, you're keeping your commitment.
    B - The group is praying for eachother. If the Almighty hasn't said yes to you yet, that doesn't mean he wont say yes to your prayer for someone else.
    C - This one act of altruism and faith on your part to pray for others may be the one tikkun for your neshama that puts you over the top.
    D - Even if you don't commit to the group as a partner, you can ask for the list and pray for the group whenever you feel like it. Even if you only do it once, its a mitzvah.

    Especially now while you are in despair and resentment. If you can utter any kind of short prayer for others, even if you don't have their names, just say, "Please Almighty, help these people who want to marry and fulfill Your will, find their zivug and get married." That would have a huge impact upstairs precisel because you aren't inclined.

  2. I agree with Max.

    Don't commit to the group. But, when you do feel you are inspired to pray, or when you pray on Rosh HaShana, keep all the rest of us in mind. It's good for you. It helps take you out of yourself and see the bigger picture. Even if you aren't praying for direct "yes" answers, sometimes opening up that dialogue with God, or that dialogue with your inner self, can be a big breakthrough emotionally.