Kenneth Cohen

Requests Related to Spirituality

Rabbi David Abuchatzeira, in his newly published book, “Sha’arei Tefilla,” quotes a passage from Sefer Chassidim, regarding how our prayers are answered.

In general, when we ask Hashem for things, we might receive a negative answer. It might be in our best interest, not to receive what we think we need.

This is not the case when it comes to a request involving spirituality. In these matters, we will always receive an affirmative answer.

If we request success in our Torah study, or other matters related to Heavenly needs, or things that bring praise to G-d, we will not be turned away.

Rav Yisrael Salanter added that this has been confirmed. It even applies to individuals that do not possess such good deeds. Spiritual requests are answered. This is what is meant when we say in Ashrei, that Hashem is close to all those who call out to him in truth.

This is another way of explaining the phrase, הכל בידי שמים חוץ מיראת שמים, that all is from Heaven, except for fear of Heaven. That is, if one makes a request, related to fear of Heaven, he will always receive the answer that he desires.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at