Talmid asked me last Friday to write something on Tefilla..so here it is.
Shemonah Esrei to me is an emotional roller coaster when I’m clicking on all cylinders.
It’s always a struggle to plug into that connection between man and God and man and himself.
These days we don’t get many opportunities Thank God to be martyrs to throw ourselves on the pyres in the greatest act of submission.
Shemonah Esrei I find to be an extraordinarily difficult act of martyrdom.
The beginning forges the connection..
Avos introduces my credentials as a son of our forefathers and Israel.
Gevuros instills in me the awesome power of God and his rehabilitating power.
Kedusha helps me plug into a holiness even though by definition it’s so removed from me.
Then my needs and wants come pouring out..
Recovery and avoidance of all illness
The needs of the community..
Protect our righteous
The climax of these requests is Shma Koleinu..where one is encouraged to talk to God in his/her own language. In English..talk to God one on one all that weighs on my heart and deepest needs.
Just when my heart is intensely pouring out to Him my needs..
I bow down and say
Modim anachanu loch...
I martyr to him my wants and acknowledge how clueless I am to what I really need.
Al chayeinu hamesurim b’yadecha...our lives that are given into your hands...I submit fully to your Master Plan...
Give me a part..and let me appreciate it..
If all these emotions click (which doesn’t happen often enough) then I relax...and say
Sim Shalom...I reach a state of peace of mind..that can only come from a moment of Martyrdom..of submission to something infinitely greater.