Thursday, July 1, 2010

Prayers from Yerushalaim

19th of Tamuz, 5770

BARUCH HASHEM I'm now in Erets Israel for the next three weeks. I'm staying in a small apartment in Yeshivat haKotel, a two minutes walk- literately- from the Western Wall. It is also thirty seconds away from Beth-El Synagogue, where I go to pray.

Beth-El synagogue is one of the ancient Synagogues in the Old City and one of the most special in the world. When you pray there you really feel transported to a different planet. In that Synagogue the lachash (silent Amida) lasts at least 40 minutes. Which gives you the unique opportunity -and forces you- to take very seriously every word of the Amida.

Stopping to think for a few seconds when you say ATA ('You'), for example, being conscious that you are addressing God in the second person and feeling that you're really in front of God Almighty, is probably one of the most important goals of our spiritual journey. Every word of the Amida guides you to follow a path that leads to His presence. And when you think about Him, the focus shifts from asking things from God to a mental effort to get closer to Him, as you would do to be closer to someone you deeply love.

You've to concentrate and focus in every word without letting any other thoughts -even thoughts about your basic needs- invade your mind. At those precious minutes you're trying to find in your soul the right way to think about God.

It is indeed a very challenging exercise of concentration but extremely rewarding. I tell you why, BH tomorrow.

Note: It is really difficult to find an accessible Wi-Fi in the vicinity . So, BH I'm not sure at what time of the day you will get the HOTD for the following 3 weeks…..