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    As I continue to
    take you with me on
    my journey of prayer
    discovery, let me share
    with you a sage idea from
    the Chachmei Chabad.
    In Krias Shema we say,
    “Va’avad’tem meheira,”
    (If we follow idolatry)
    we will perish quickly
    (from the land).” In Chabad, they interpret
    this homiletically, that we should destroy the
    rush in our spirituality and prayers. The more
    we learn about the meaning or our prayers,
    the more we will be able to pray devoutly and
    with concentration.
    The second blessing of Shemone Esrei is
    devoted to thanking Hashem for Techias
    HaMeisim, the resurrection of the dead. The
    selection of this subject at the very beginning
    of our Shemone Esrei is perplexing. Imagine
    if your twelve year old son would come over
    to you and thank you profusely for making
    him a wedding. You would look at him
    puzzled. “Why are you thanking me for your
    wedding? First, I have to buy you tefillin,
    make you a Bar Mitzvah, put you through
    high school and pay for your dating. Then we
    could get to your wedding.” Here too, let’s

    first thank Hashem for our intellect, health,
    livelihood, peace, etc. After all, thankfully,
    we’re not dead yet. All the way at the end of
    the Shemone Esrei, we can thank Hashem for
    the eventual resurrection.

    I believe the explanation for the front-
    seat positioning of Techias HaMeisim, the

    resurrection, is that it is the single greatest
    asset that a person has. Everything else is only
    temporal-for 120 years. But, the privilege of
    Techias HaMeisim is our passport to eternal
    life, to a world in which one moment of
    pleasure is greater that all the conceivable
    pleasures of this world. This is why we thank
    Hashem for this privilege first.
    We are also very careful to thrice daily affirm
    our belief in the resurrection. This is because
    there is a risk that one can lose this privilege.
    In the last chapter of Masechtas Sanhedrin,
    the Mishna teaches us those who lose their
    portion in the Afterlife. One such person is
    hakofeir b’techias hameisim, one who denies
    the resurrection. As the Gemora explains, it
    is a simple manifestation of midah k’neged
    midah, the Divine retribution of measure for
    measure. If you don’t believe in it, you won’t
    get it. This is why four-fifths of Klal Yisroel
    died during the plague of darkness. Since they
    didn’t believe in Moshe Rabbeinu’s prophecy

    of pakod yifkod, that Hashem will remember
    them and take them out of Egypt, they didn’t
    merit to leave. (This is also why Dason and
    Avirum did exit Egypt. Although they might
    have been wicked, they did believe in the
    prophesy of pakod yifkod [Tosefos HaRosh]).
    Therefore, we make sure to affirm devoutly
    in every Shemone Esrei that we believe,
    “V’ne’eman Atah la’hachai’os meisim,” that
    You are trustworthy and faithful to (surely)
    resurrect the dead. This firmly cements us in
    the camp of the believers.
    The second blessing starts, “Atah gibor
    l’olam l’Hashem, You are mighty forever
    Hashem, M’chayeih meisim Atah, You
    resurrect the dead, rav l’hoshia, You have
    many powers (Abundantly able, cf. Artscroll
    Siddur) to save.” Here we are contrasting
    Hashem’s type of might to the human notion
    of might. In our world, a mighty warrior is
    one who conquers and defeats. But, Hashem’s
    might is characterized as One who resurrects
    and saves. The Yalkut Katan interprets rav
    l’hosia as He who has a plethora of ways to
    save, and is meant to convey that a human can
    only do one thing at a time, be in one place
    at a time, and exist in one period of time.
    Hashem can do many things, be in many
    places, and exist in many eras at the same

    time. Therefore, He has abundant abilities to
    rescue people, in myriad sorts of ways.
    In the merit of continuing to grow in prayer,
    may Hashem grant our prayers and bless us
    with long life, good health, and everything