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Praying with Fire

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Praying with Fire

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Praying with Fire
Igniting the Power of Your Tefillah - A 5-Minute Lesson-A-Day
By Rabbi Heshy Kleinman
Artscroll - Mesorah Publications, New York: 2007
ISBN: 978-1-4226-0015-7

Reviewed by Anna Dogole - November 12, 2007

Unfortunately, all too many people strive to fulfill only the letter of the law when it comes to praying. In doing so, they do not try to understand or appreciate the power of prayer. Worse, they say their tefillos (prayers), more often than not, by rote, rather than to offer up vibrant and passionate prayers that not only resonate to the core of their very being, but which also fling the Gates of Heaven open.

If you truly want to understand the power and the purpose of prayer, and if you want to learn how to pray fervently, you'll want to read, and study, Praying with Fire: Igniting the Power of Your Tefillah by Rabbi Heshy Kleinman. In this book, Rabbi Kleinman has created a life-changing, 5-minute a day, study-program that will help to make you enthusiastic about tefillah (prayer), and which will help to discover the unimaginable power of prayer! This book also includes a soul-stirring preface by HaRav Mattisyahu Salomon that examines why, and how, Prayers Are Always Effective, and an equaling stirring forward by Rabbi Yisroel Reisman discussing why we should, and need to, pray.

As Rabbi Kleinman clearly states in his introduction:
"The mission of this sefer, presented in a lesson-a-day format, is two-fold: to impart the concepts and underpinnings of tefillah - penetrating the external shell of the formal prayer - as well as to provide a solid understanding and appreciation of the practical aspects of tefillah and how it affects our lives" (pg. xxiv.)
This book explores how to pray, and why. The effectiveness of prayer and how you can use prayer to connect more closely with HaShem while you are praying. Rabbi Kleinman also offers guidance on what kavannah is, its importance, and how to achieve it during prayer. The material in Praying with Fire is broken up into an 89-day study schedule, divided into thematic sections covering topics such as the power of tefillah, personal growth through prayer, how to achieve true kavannah (utmost concentration, having a proper frame of mind during prayer), and finding answers through prayer.

Each of the 89 lessons in this book should take you no more than 5-minutes to read, and they will forever change how you look at prayer, and more important, how you pray! This is not a book to read once and set it aside. It is a book to study on a continual basis, for each time you study this book you'll discover new insights and you'll appreciate the material more as you grow, personally, through prayer. To this end, Rabbi Kleinman has included a handy learning calendar along with each lesson to help keep you on 'track' as well as a selection of points to ponder for each lesson that will help reinforce the material you've studied. Rabbi Kleinman's lessons are full of teaching of the Gemara, Torah wisdom, and more, and throughout detailed source notes are provided for anyone who wants to study any of the topics discussed in the book in more detail.

Praying with Fire is one of the most inspirational books that I've ever read, and it should be studied by men and women of all ages, for it will forever change the way you approach prayer, and how you pray!


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