I heard someone the other day wonder why God never seems to answer her most fervent prayers. I think this column may give the response I couldn’t seem to articulate.
Before we can answer the questions, perhaps we first need to reexamine their premises. Prayer — at least in Judaism — is not primarily about coming to Santa or Savta(Grandma) with a wish list, but about stepping shyly and modestly before our Creator with humility, gratitude for the past, and a commitment to self-betterment. That is, prayer is self-instruction: it teaches us not only who we should strive to be but what we should be and what needs and wants deserve to be prioritized.