On the one hand, it is so important to daven [pray] together. On the other hand, Rebbe Nachman says that when you daven, it has to be like there is nobody else in the world, just you and G-d. That’s it.
Rebbe Tzadok HaCohen and all the Rebbes said; sometimes you pray, and you are angry that G-d didn’t answer. But it is very simple, if I pray, and while I am davening I am already making plans “What will I do if G-d doesn’t answer? So then I will have to do something else,” then G-d says, “Listen, I don’t want to interfere with your plans. Just go right ahead.” You know, imagine I go to a doctor, and I would say, “Listen, if you are not so good, I also have an uncle, he’s another doctor.” Someone, a big doctor told me, “You know, Jewish patients are the worst, because everybody has an uncle who is a doctor, and right away they tell you that his uncle said something else. It’s geferlach.”
But you see what it is, when I daven, when I am asking G-d, it has to be clear to me that nobody else can help me. Mamash, absolutely nobody.
Doing things in a natural way
And you see what it is, as much as G-d wants us to do everything in the natural way… Let’s say, for instance, I need five thousand dollars, and I am going to sit here and learn Likutei Etzos and I hope that G-d will send me five thousand dollars right here on this table. It doesn’t go this way. Because we are living in a world in which G-d puts certain borders. You want five thousand dollars, you have to work, you have to do something. And it says, “uberachecha HaShem bkol asher tase [G-d will bless you that whatever you do should be good].”
You see, the deepest secret is; I have to know that G-d wants me to work. If I have a herring store, I have to know that G-d wants me to have a herring store. But I still have to know that only G-d is feeding me, and the herring store is just a front.
So the question is, if G-d wants to feed me, what does He need a herring store for?
So? So you have a question. [You can’t completely understand it, but so what? You don’t need to completely understand it.]
Because this is the way G-d is operating in this world; that you have to do something, but it really is G-d’s blessing.
But the most important thing is, when you daven, mamash, it has to be clear to you, mamash clear, in the deepest, deepest depths, that only G-d can help you.
Connecting to G-d
When you learn Torah you exactly know G-d’s will, and you know G-d’s teachings. But when are you connecting yourself to G-d? Connecting to G-d is only when you daven.
And you know, it is very clear in the Gemara, that if you don’t daven, you one hundred percent don’t understand the Torah either. You don’t understand the Torah… Ah, when you daven, you are already connected… ah, then when you learn, it is shining so deep into you.
Imagine, someone tells me a piece of Torah, it might be sweet. But if he tells me, “Do you know who said this piece of Torah? Someone who is your best friend.” Ahh, I pay different attention to it. If you learn Torah, but without davening, and you really are not connected to G-d, so the Torah doesn’t get in so deep. When you are connected to G-d, then the Torah gets in so deep.
The power to pray
This is something very deep. Why is it when we daven, suddenly all kinds of stupid thoughts, unimportant thoughts enter your mind. Not only stupid thoughts, but there is also something else, a certain arrogance. Suddenly you feel important when you daven. You think, “This one hurt my feelings, this one didn’t respect me. This one did me wrong.” Have you ever noticed it? Sometimes in the middle of davening, you start thinking arrogantly of everything stupid, “Twenty years ago, I remember, this person insulted me, gevalt. And one hundred and fifty years ago, mamash, I remember clearly, I remember it, on my way to the bris, someone insulted me.”
What is going on here? Rebbe Nachman says, the truth is, that we have unbelievable power. Do you know what is the biggest power we have? We have the power to pray. It is awesome. You know, like the Gemara says, “Our weapon is praying.” Meaning to say… you know the Gemara knew everything. If someone tells you, “You know, atomic power is gevalt, right?” But one Yiddele [Jew] saying Tehillim [Psalms] has more power. Mamash more power.
So when we begin to daven, suddenly we feel, “Gevalt, I have so much power.” But if you don’t know how to handle it, then the first thing comes to your head; “Ah, I am so important, how come this person didn’t respect me?” But it is all nonsense, you have to get out of it.
So Rebbe Nachman says, this is because you really are gevalt very important, but it is in exile. It is garmented in a stupid way; the package is wrong.