The Value Of A Sigh

A cobbler came to Rabbi Issac of Ger and said, “Tell me what to do about my morning prayer. My customers are poor men who have only one pair of shoes. I pick up their shoes late in the evening and work on them most of the night; at dawn there is still work to be done if the men are to have their shoes ready before they go to work. Now my question is: What should I do about my morning prayer?”

“What have you been doing till now?” the Rabbi asked. “Sometimes I rush through the prayer quickly and get back to my work but then I feel bad about it. At other times I let the hour of prayer go by. Then too I feel a sense of loss and every time, now and then, as I raise my hammer from the shoes, I can almost hear my heart sigh, “What an unlucky man I am, that I am not able to make my morning prayer.”

Said the Rabbi, “If I were God I would value that sigh more than the prayer”.

It is not always necessary to sit especially to pray, if we remember God, even for the split of a second from the core of our heart i.e. even if we remember him for a period equal to the time it takes to sigh, that moment of yearning for God is more dear to God than hours of prayer, which are just perfunctionary.