Introduction: Tefillah often seems long and wordy to us. Some of the most powerful תפילות, however, are the shortest. Moshe’s short tefillah on behalf of מרים in ספר במדבר serves as a paradigm for the most essential components of a בקשה/request. Moshe says:
קל נא רפא נא לה
What are the different components?
קל To whom the בקשה is addressed - using one of G-d’s many names
נא Please- a word of בקשה
רפא Heal - the content of the בקשה
נא Please - a more powerful, deeper, more heartfelt repetition of the word of בקשה
לה Her- the subject of the request
Let’s try this structure in making simple requests of each other. Turn to the person sitting next to you and ask them for something.
Moshe, please, help with my math homework, please help me.
Consider any one of your בקשות from the last לב השבוע or think of something that’s on your mind this week. Choose one בקשה for yourself and one בקשה for someone else (family member, friend et.). Write out your two תפילות using the קל נא רפא נא לה formula:
|Fill in for your בקשה:
|Choose a name of G-d you want to use to address Him for this specific request
|Choose a word of בקשה like please, kindly etc.
|Write the content of the בקשה
|Repeat the same word of בקשה from before
|Specify who is the subject of the request (to/for me, friends’ name, parent’s name etc.)
Discuss in pairs or groups of 3:
Ask one representative from each group to share what the group discussed.
Ask everyone to practice the structure of the בקשה without the content by turning to one other person in the circle and simply saying “Please, name of student, please.” That person should then choose a different person and continue until every student has been made a בקשה and had a בקשה made of them.