The following incident has been recorded from a few sources and is well known. In 1940 in Poland lived a holy sage known as the “Brisker Rav” from the city of Brisk. The Nazis were rounding up every Jewish person they could hunt down and sending them to the concentration camps. The only way out, was boarding a train heading out of Poland.
The Brisker Rav had to escape with his 2 teenage daughters and 9 year old son. The Rav knew the power of words of Torah. Knowing that walking through the stations of Nazi soldiers with three frightened young children would be a hopeless venture. Desperate to protect his children he kept reminding himself, that as powerful as their enemies are, there is a power much greater.
The great sage known as the Alshich hakadosh had expounded on the holy words: “Ata Hareita Lada’at Ki Hashem Hu HaElokim, Ain Od Milvado” – “It has been revealed to you to know that God, He is the Almighty One, there is no one else except him”
The Brisker Rav instructed his children to fill their minds to the brim on these words and not let any other thoughts at all enter to distract them. Understanding the urgency and having been raised in a chassidish religious home, the children were able to accept the task. They continued meditating on these words, for an entire week.
Then together they walked to the train station, their minds united as one on God’s total and only ruler-ship and sovereignty. The fiercely scrutinizing glare of Nazi guards went right past them. This family was apparently invisible. Walking past several checkpoints, they boarded the train and rode through the borders and continued their journey eventually reaching the United States. The many descendants of the Brisker Rav in New York and Israel are here to testify to their escape out of Europe.
It has been shown that effective Prayer depends on the intensity of our loving connection with the Infinite One, the Master of Creation.
The Hebrew words and letters of the Psalms and of the Jewish Prayer book are empowered with extraordinary energy. These words have been held in the heart and the mind of people for countless generations through millennia. As the Jewish people were passing through the darkest times of persecution, cruelty and heartaches, the psalms were strengthening them. With the knowledge that God was always there for them leading them to their ultimate good, they were comforted from their losses.
These simple words and the images they evoke have been treasured, prayed and meditated upon by great men and women, noble, dedicated, saintly souls, in every generation. These words have paved a well familiar path, a freeway to higher connections. They calm our emotions, allowing us to be comforted with the Presence of God. Many layers and subtle nuances of meaning can reveal themselves to us as we delve into these words. When they are expressed in songs and melodies, our souls are soaring.
The most powerful of these words are the names of God which are messengers of the Power that created and maintains the universe.