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Tefillah Notes-Amidah-Hashem, Sefatai 4-01-96

I have just finished Telushkin’s new book, “Words that hurt, words that heal”, and loved it. There is no question that our words are incredibly powerful.


Living with someone who absolutely refuses to speak loshon horah, I have once again experienced the preciousness of words, which is translating itself in my davening. Taking the time before shmone esrei to reflect on the power of words, what they have done to my life when spoken by others, or when spoken by me, has put me in awe of what I will be doing; “Hashem ‘sefatai…” is overwhelming.

One truly trembles before speaking to God especially if one acknowledges the power and reality of one’s words. How can one speak without God? How can one expect God’s help if one is not an appropriate vessel, especially if our responsibility is, in the words of Bereishit Rabbah 19:13, “ikar hashechina b’tachtonim”?

I had been using that midrash rabbah in Ata Kadosh, but realized today that it must come before I begin shmone esrei. Where?

I decided to use the Bach, Tur Orach Chayim 47 in “v’ahavta” to focus on being able to use the Torah as a way to experience God’s love, to express my love, and ameilut (see Tanchuma Noach #3 and page 94 in Alei Shor #2)

Nothing will happen or can happen without a high level of commitment to learn and to what we have learned.

The pre-davening learning has taken on added importance as have Birchot Hatorah focusing on proper kavanot. Go thru the Alei Shor vol. 2 section on Torah, specifically the first three chapters. Different types of learning lead to different types of preparation.

My avodah presently is to use the details of halacha as a means to incorporate the chassidut and yirat shomayim nurtured by Mesillat Yesharim and Alei Shor. It is incredible to have a partner who is attuned and sensitive and supportive of such work.

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