Rosh Hashana Prayer Skills III
Continued from an unedited transcript of a shiur: Next, one should never daven more than a phrase at a time. In other words, when we go, Ata Gibor le’olam Hashem mechayei maisim Ata rav l’hoshia, mashiv, you know,
mechalkel chaim b’chesed mechayei maisim berachamim rabim, I’m already say a list of 5 or 6 things in 2 seconds.
But let’s say I go mechalkel chaim b’chesed – You have sustained, or He sustains the living with kindness – stop.
He resuscitates the dead with abundant mercy – stop.
He supports the fallen – stop.
And I say one phrase at a time, my tefillah becomes again much more effective.
Okay, so we have the first 3: Say the words as if I’m actually addressing another being directly, which I am but we lose that.
The words don’t work their magic with Hashem unless they’re first working their magic within us.
So we have to speak the words as if we mean them and it’s a dangerous thing to speak words of holiness without being attached to those words. So the first is attached to the words, speak them as if I mean them.
Second: know what I am about to say before I say it and, three – never say a phrase that’s longer than 6 words max. There is not a single phrase in davening that is more than 6 words, and say one phrase at a time, no matter how long it stretches the Shemoneh Esrei, it will become one of the greatest Shemoneh Esrei’s of your life, which is the thrill. And you’ll find that when you actually start to think about what you’re saying before you say it and you’ll sometimes get to something and you’ll try and understand what are you saying.
Why is it when Hashem sustains the living it’s kindness – it’s chesed? Why is it that He resuscitates the dead, which I wouldn’t call resuscitates if it’s abundant mercy. Why isn’t it just mercy? Why is it abundant mercy?
And you’ll begin to think ideas will pop into your head, and those ideas you can use in the next time you daven and when you use them the next time you daven, more ideas will pop into your head and so that each Shemoneh Esrei becomes one that builds on the one before and davening becomes a very important part of my life cycle, because the davening will begin to reflect everything that’s going on in my life.
So if we can’t do every single phrase before, you know in the one hour class, so lets at least get the theme of each paragraph so that we’ll know what we’re davening for when we daven.