The Zohar offers another explanation. ‘and I return to my father’s house in peace’. Jacob says that when he returns to the holy land of his father, he will be elevated to a higher level and achieve completion. YHVH will be with him as it says ‘and YHVH will be with me’. Then he could connect to ‘אֱלֹהִים’ ‘ELHYM’ as it says ‘He will be for me, God ( ‘אֱלֹהִים’ ‘ELHYM’)”
Rabbi Chiya opened and quotes Psalms 65:4
“דִּבְרֵי עֲוֹנֹת גָּבְרוּ מֶנִּי פְּשָׁעֵינוּ אַתָּה תְכַפְּרֵם.”
“Iniquities prevail against me; As for our transgressions, You forgive them.”
The verse starts in a singular form and ends with plural. King David pray for his inequities to be forgiven. He was also aware that the iniquities and sins made by the wicked are strong and affect the state of this world negatively.
The increased negativity in the world rise to a level that it is written in the books of wicked and trigger judgments. King David feared these judgments and for that reason, he also prayed and asked God to forgive their sins.
After the sin of Korach, God wanted to consume all the people. Moses and Aaron pleaded for them and at the end, the earth swallowed only Korach and the people that joined him.
“וַיִּפְּלוּ עַל פְּנֵיהֶם וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵל אֱלֹהֵי הָרוּחֹת לְכָל בָּשָׂר הָאִישׁ אֶחָד יֶחֱטָא וְעַל כָּל הָעֵדָה תִּקְצֹף.”
“But they fell on their faces and said, “O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, when one man sins, will You be angry with the entire congregation?”
When many people sin, it creates judgments on all people. Rabbi Shimon explains this principle with a parable;
It’s like men on a boat. One of them took a drill and started drilling underneath him. The others said to him: What are you doing?! He replied: What do you care. It is not underneath your area that I am drilling?! They said to him: Fool, but the water will rise and flood us all on this ship.
We are on the same ship and responsible for each other. Our daily prayers are in plural forms to reflect this approach. When we have personal prayers we should meditate to draw the same blessings to others with the same needs. The sages teach us that all pure and honest prayers are answered, sooner or later, even if manifestation comes long after, even in the next generations.
Keep praying for yourself and others. Even if it doesn’t benefit you directly as you would expect, your prayers won’t be wasted and would be considered as sharing actions.
We finish our morning prayers with “קוה אל יהוה”, “Put your hope in YHVH, be strong in your heart and keep your hope with YHVH…” this is to tell us that even if our prayers are not answered immediately, there is a hope that they will be answered.