Prayer Skills: Rashbi: Mitzvah as Preparation
Our Rabbis taught: One should not stand up to say Tefillah while immersed in sorrow, or idleness, or laughter, or chatter, or frivolity, or idle talk, but only while still rejoicing in the performance of a Mitzvah. (Berachot 31a)
“All service a person desires to perform for the Holy One, Blessed is He, must be with joy and desire for his service to be considered whole (Zohar III Vayikra 8a).” Joy connects one’s Nefesh-Desire to his Living Spirit. His service is considered a body without a soul if performed without simcha (RaMaK; Ohr Yakar).
We begin our prayers with the joy that our words are considered Mitzvot. That joy in the Mitzvah gives eternal life to our Tefillah-Amidah (Rabbi Chaim Vital; Introduction to Sha’ar haMitzvot)
Rejoice in each step of prayer as an opportunity to prepare for the following step until you reach the Amidah.