Rav Berland’s Prayer to Distance Oneself from Despair

Translated to English from Tefilah L’Ani: Leket Tefilot u’Vakashot

Prayer to Distance Oneself from All Types of Despair

Please, Compassionate and Gracious, redeem me and save me from the palm of the schemer and the violent one, because You are full of mercy and kindnesses without end or limit, reaching even a sinner and rebel like me, who is wallowing in a path which is filthy with all types of sin and iniquity, stricken with all types of despair, sadness, and brokenness, until it seems to him that all hope is lost, and that he is found in an unsalvageable [situation].  In the bitterness of my speech, I said there is no one who can raise me up from my descent, there is no one who can awaken me from my slumber, because behold, all my days and years have passed over me in nothingness and emptiness, with blemished thoughts and forbidden sights, which blemished the Nefesh and Ruach, and which distanced from me the Neshama, Chaya, and Yechida.  “Save my soul from the sword, my essence from the grip of the dog.  Many bulls surround me; Bashan’s mighty ones encircle me.  They open their mouths against me like a tearing, roaring lion.  I am poured out like water, and all my bones became disjointed; my heart is like wax, melted within my innards” (Tehilim 22: 21, 13-15).

Compassionate and Gracious, Who opens a hand to rebellious sinners and desires their repentance, from where will our help come, and from where will our salvation come, since we are distant from any true regret, and from any true acceptance [to change] in the future, that we will not sin again, forever.  However, we will not allow any despair – because there is no transgression more awful than it – to bring us down, chas v’shalom, because despite our distance from repentance, we believe in complete faith, and know clearly, that great is the strength of the true Tzaddik in each generation, to awaken us to true repentance, and to true regret, from the greatest depths of the heart, great is his strength to nullify our materialism, and to uproot our arrogance, which is the root flourishing with gall and wormwood, to uproot from us once and for all time, all evil thoughts and forbidden sights, which are the fruit of tens and hundreds of reincarnations in which we were reincarnated in the deepest abyss and below it, from the time of the sin of the Tree of Knowledge until today.

Our Father, Merciful Father, behold You revealed to us that there is no despair in the world at all, and You are ready also now, at this moment mamash, to return the glory to its former state, to return us to our roots and our splendor, because You do not want us to fall into despair, chalila, which is harder than the first ones, casting a person down to the lowest abyss and below it, chas v’shalom.  You do not want us to despair, chas v’shalom, even a hairsbreadth, because thoughts and ideas and confusions such as these are harsh and cause harm, and anger our Creator more than all the sins, iniquities, and rebellious sins from the time we have existed until this day.  Please, please draw us out of the treacherous waters, elevate us from despair, from cessation and destruction, because we still have great hope at every time, at every hour, and at every moment.  “Hashem’s kindness surely has not ended, nor are His mercies exhausted” (Eichah 3:22).

Only what shall we do, and all of this is hidden from us, because of our many downfalls, because in our distance we would not know the power of His abundant mercies and great kindnesses for all who desire to return in truth, even though they have not yet returned.  In our foolishness, we would not know the whole greatness of His salvation.  We would not know that all His, the Blessed One’s, desire is to return and to have mercy on all those who are waiting and longing for Him – those yearning and striving to find deliverance and refuge to return to Hashem Yitbarach, even though perplexities overwhelm them at every moment, and for days and years do not allow them to return to their Father’s house.

Our Father in Heaven, G-d, Gracious and Merciful, would that we should know, repeat, and remember that despite all our downfalls, His kindness has very greatly overwhelmed us without measure, estimation, or number, what the mouth cannot speak and the heart think.  Because even if all the seas were dye, and all the lakes quills, and all people scribes, and all tongues exalting – we will not suffice to explain and elucidate one in a thousand and a multitude of His abundant kindnesses, through which He leads in His kindness every generation, and especially those who are sighing and despondent, desiring and waiting to return to You, the Blessed One, in truth.

“If only from now on you would call Me ‘My Father!  You are the Master of my youth.’  Would He be angry forever?” (based on Yirmiyah 3:4-5).  Please, strengthen us and we will be strengthened, and renew us at every moment, so that we may begin from now to serve our Creator, to shake ourselves off from dust, to be encouraged by Your consolations – shake yourself off from the dust, arise, don the garments of your beauty, my people.  Wake up, wake up, because your light has come.  Rise up and shine, awaken, awaken, sing a song, the glory of Hashem is revealed upon you.  Awaken, awaken, sing a song.  Do not be mute and do not be silent.  Raise your sweet voice, and open your mouth before the Kadosh Baruch Hu, and make your pleasant words heard to Him.  Open your mouth, let your words shine, sing a song.


Rav Berland’s Prayer to Merit to the Trait of Happiness

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