Monday, January 13, 2014

AMIDA: The after effects of the 'Amida

Last week we explained that prayer, particularly the 'amida, requires kavana, the proper state of mind. When praying the 'amida we don't allow mundane thoughts to enter our mind. We pay attention to every word we pronounce, focusing our mind exclusively on God. 

A good way to detect if my 'amida has been said with kavana, is to observe our state of mind after the 'amida. 

If we have taken seriously the notion that when praying the 'amida we are literally standing in front of God's Presence, that experience must have left a very noticeable impact in my thoughts, feelings and values. When we pray the 'amida with kavana we place God back in the center of this world's reality. We become more humble. We understand that if we want our lives to be meaningful and we wish to leave the periphery of life, we should get closer to Him. 

After the 'amida, we should also realize that as much as we push for things to happen, we try to adjust the world to our plans it is HaShem who is ultimately in charge.  No matter how strong, rich, and in good-shape we are, our powers and wishes are limited (or enhanced) by the "G" factor". After the 'amida, Emuna/faith, usually understood as "hope", acquires a new deeper meaning:  "acceptance".

After praying the 'amida with Kavana, we reach a deeper state of humbleness.   Conducive to getting closer to God and to a higher level of internal peace. 

However, if after the 'amida we have not become less self-centered and more God-centered, most probably we have not prayed the 'amida with the proper Kavana. 

Then, it will be time to review the state of our prayers.