Dear Rabbi: I read that there is a Kaballah reason for why prayers have not been answered by G-d during the ages. It is because Jewish prayer books (apart from Kabbalah ones) do not contain either codes or the sacred names of G-d that need to be recited in order for G-d to actually hear our prayers. (Awhile back I spoke with a Kabbalah Rabbi who said he has had direct communication with G-d, along with his father before him.) I was wondering what your thoughts were on this matter? Thank You.
Shalom Mark, G-d undoubtedly hears all of our prayers whether we pray from the heart or from a prayer book, and in any language. Any kabbalistic advantages there may be using a particular name of G-d, are really just additions for those unique individuals in every generation who function on that level. On the other hand, Judaism strongly stresses for each and every one of us to have a personal relationship with G-d, whatever his/her background, and even if one’s personal religious observance may be lacking. Our Father in Heaven knows and hears everything and every prayer, but, as with any parent, the answer, for our betterment, is sometimes, “No”. Sometimes we ask for things which are counterproductive or not in our better interest at this particular time, or on our particular spiritual level. For example, although most people would like to be wealthy, for most of them that would be a test that they would fail! In short, Judaism is meant to be lived and understood on a basic and “normal” level, and that’s what should occupy your thoughts, not mystical names which you won’t understand anyway. Judaism is truth and ideals, as well as intellectual, emotional and mystical spirituality, not magic or mystical incantations. With Love of Israel, Rav Ari Shv