Monday, July 5, 2010

The desired effect of praying


23rd of Tamuz, 5770

When we pray with Kavana, focusing our mind exclusively on God, our Tefila leaves a long lasting effect in our personalities, enough to impact our deeds, thoughts and values. When we mentally strive to maintain God at the center we regain consciousness of our place on the periphery of reality.

Still, we try to change and improve what we can change and improve, but at one point we learn to 'accept' (not 'give up', but accept. Notice the difference!) that some things are beyond our reach and beyond our power to modify. 'Emuna' faith is usually understood in the sense of 'hope', but to me the proper understanding of Emuna is 'acceptance'.

This state of the mind, acceptance, is also known as 'anava' humbleness. It consists on recognizing the existence of a higher power which control what we don't. When we reach this state, many small things that use to make us angry becomes less important… we try to make the best of it, of what we can't change, and we let go easier …

If prayers don't bring my mind to a higher level of 'Emuna' and 'humbleness', then probably I have not prayed with enough Kavana. I might just have articulated some Hebrew 'sounds'….