In previous Torah portions, we learned of the childlessness of Yitzchok and Rivka. We are taught they did not have children right away, just as Sara. And in this week’s Torah portion, we learn that Rochel did not have children right away. We are taught that this is because Hashem wanted to hear their prayers.
Why? Is it cruelty – my child is so cute when he cries so I let him cry?! No, that isn’t it. It can’t be that with G-d. He doesn’t let us suffer just to see how cute we are when we cry. There must be something else of why He wants these prayers.
Prayer is a very powerful thing – it brings blessing to the world. Therefore, when righteous people pour out sincere prayers, not only do they become a better person and merit getting what they are praying for, but also their prayers change the world and help others who aren’t as good as them.
Think of a faucet wedged closed. A strong person strains against the tap, again and again, until finally it yields and turns. The water gushes forth. And those who were thirsty, but were too weak to maneuver that faucet on their own, they get to drink from the same waters as the tap turner. The righteous open the spigots of blessings, bringing Heavenly bounty into this world. Up to them is the heavy work of getting those faucets running.
That is why Hashem wanted to hear the prayers of the Tzaddikim, to bring good to the world.
When Yitzchok was born, we are taught that the whole world laughed. Why? Because the blessing of having children, once “turned on” for Sarah, helped many ladies who did not have children. So Rivka’s prayers were not just for herself, but for the whole world. With Rochel’s tears and prayers, more blessing came to the world. With Laya’s prayer for her sister, even more blessings came pouring in.
And I sit here and hope that all those who are yearning for help like me are straining all spiritual muscles to daven and cry, for who knows who in our generation is the Sarah, Rivka, Rochel (or even a Laya davening for a sister) who can turn on the spigot of blessings. Pray and cry, for yourselves, for me, for the world. We need the blessings in our lives, sorely need them.