WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO CALL OUT “IN TRUTH”?

Question When we say in Ashrei every day that “Hashem is close to all who call out to Him in truth” (Tehillim 145:18), what does it mean to call out “in truth”?

Answer Let’s say a person who is not feeling well goes to davening and says in a formal way: “Refa’einu Hashem v’neirafei, heal us, Hashem, and we are healed.” He certainly wants to get well. But the question is, does he feel that he is speaking to the right address, that Hashem is the One Who can make him well? If he does it half-heartedly — if he is thinking that, in reality, he has to go to a physician and that davening to Hashem is a formality — then it’s not be’emes, in truth. Be’emes means only when he has the emunah that Hashem is the Rofeh cholei amo Yisrael, the Healer.
It’s the going to a physician that is the formality. We are required to look for a good physician, and it’s a requirement to pay the physician. The Gemara in Bava Kama (85a) says you should pay a physician, because “a physician who heals for nothing is worth that much.” The example in the Gemara is of a man who wounded his fellow man and is obligated to pay him for a number of things, including his doctor’s bills. If the man says, “I have a friend who is a doctor and he will heal you for nothing,” the wounded man can say, “A physician who heals for nothing is worth nothing.” A person has to find a good physician and pay. But at the same time he has to know that it’s only a formality. Bitachon requires him to understand that Hashem is the One Who heals. That is what is meant by “asher yikra’uhu be’emes.” You have to call out in truth, with emunah.

The koreans have a method of prayer. They write the prayer on a scroll, wrap it around a spindle, put it on a greased axle and give it a twirl. It goes around many times. Each time it goes around, they get credit for a whole tefillah. What do the really pious ones do? They have a whole row of them and walk back and forth spinning each. And they are joking and laughing while they do that. Now, the rich ones buy spindles along two rows and spin each one as they pass so they have all these wheels praying for them. The wheels don’t stop for even a second, because they keep on walking back and forth, giving them a twirl each time. That is what these pious men do to serve the demons to which they pray. That is really praying by rote.

It’s a genuine tragedy to pray by rote even when davening to Hashem. A person has to have the attitude that each time he davens, he tries to daven better. Each time he says, “Hashem,” he tries to actually think of the Shechinah.

Each time he says, “Atah, You,” he tries to picture what “You” means. “You” means you’re talking to Someone. Then, as the days and the months go by, it’s like polishing his neshamah. First, he polishes off the dirt that is encrusted on the mirror of his neshamah. Then, little by little, his neshamah begins to become clear, bright and transparent — and finally the emunah starts coming, shining through. ETC IN THE BOOK


Miller, Rabbi Avigdor. Rav Avigdor Miller on Emunah and Bitachon . The Judaica Press, Inc.. Kindle Edition.