Home BRI Women Parshat Chayei Sarah: Make Hitbodedut Wherever You Find Yourself

Parshat Chayei Sarah: Make Hitbodedut Wherever You Find Yourself

by Chaya Rivka Zwolinski

In Parsha Chayei Sarah, we learn that Yitzchak went out to pray in the fields towards evening time, to pray the evening prayers. Yitzchak’s evening prayers took the form of hitbodedut, which is speaking to Hashem in your own words, from the heart, about whatever is on your mind.

Hitbodedut can include questions, confession and remorse, gratitude, yearning, beseeching, venting, praise, frustration – whatever it is that you need to express. Just like Yitzchak, we can tap into the power of hitbodedut and talk to Hashem. We should talk to Hashem with honesty; after all, no one knows our thoughts and feelings better than Hashem. Who better to discuss them with?

Yitzchak was making hitbodedut in a field. Rebbe Nachman tells us it is quite good and beneficial to pray out of doors, in the fields and the forests, surrounded by nature. He tells us that when we do all the trees and plants of the field join in. All the plants and animals sing Hashem’s praises. Because they do so, they invigorate our own prayers.

In Perek Shira we learn that the vegetation and grasses sing: May the glory of God endure forever, let God take joy from His creation.” This is what the vegetation and grasses are singing alongside you when you make hitbodedut out of doors.

But, we don’t always have the opportunity to talk to Hashem in a natural setting, or in a safe place out of doors. Very often we might find we have to make hitbodedut in a corner of our bedroom, in a car or on public transportation. We wish we could always pray and meditate in a beautiful outdoor setting.

It’s helpful to remember: Just as Hashem created you and gave you everything you need in life, He also gave you the ability to talk to Him wherever you find yourself. Hashem knows that you may not have the beautiful natural setting or a lot of time, you may not have peace and quiet that is perfectly conducive to the ultimate hitbodedut experience. Hashem wants us to know that there’s time and space, whenever and wherever you find yourself. It’s up to you.

May you have a day in which you work with what Hashem gives you.

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