Monday, September 8, 2008

Learning HOW to davven

In this letter the Rebbe encourages “learning about Avodas HaTefillah, which brings to Avodas HaTefillah.”

Tefillah is not a matter of reading off words. It is about engaging in a profound, personal—even intimate—bonding experience with Hashem.

We are told to “have kavono (concentration).” But it is not enough to concentrate. If a driver concentrates on the road but is ignorant of the road rules, or doesn’t know his destination, then no amount of concentration can help. In order to davven, one must thoroughly learn the parts of Torah that teach us how to davven.

Here are some such important texts from Chabad Chassidus:

  • Kuntres HaTefillah from the Rebbe Rashab;
  • Kuntres HoAvodah from the Rebbe Rashab;
  • Kuntres Etz Chayim from the Rebbe Rashab;
  • Kuntres HaHispa’alus from the Mitteler Rebbe;
  • Sha’ar HaYichud from the Mitteler Rebbe.

In terms of the Sefiros, perhaps it could be said that this study is the concept of Tiferes ShebeMalchus. Tiferes corresponds to Torah (the Gemara in Berachos 58a says “Tiferes—this is Mattan Torah”), and Malchus corresponds to Tefillah (as it is written, va’ani sefilo, which corresponds to Malchus—see here). So studying the part of Torah that explains Tefillah is Tiferes ShebeMalchus.