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Prayer Skills-Vayikra-Sweet Aroma

The Angels appointed to bring the prayers of Israel before the Holy One distinguish between proper, lucid prayers and those disqualified by unseemly thoughts, for a thought of this kind will not be a, “sweet aroma to the Lord (Leviticus 1:9).” This is so even according to those who hold that angels do not discern human thoughts. How then can they tell which prayer is pure and which impure? By their divinely granted talent for “smelling” prayers to determine their quality.


A man who carefully avoids everything evil throughout the day, such as flattery, lies, joking, anger, haughtiness, hatred, rivalry, and other things that have a damaging effect, and instead occupies himself in Torah, acts of kindness, and performance of mitzvot; when a man of this sort comes to pray, all his good deeds infuse a pleasant aroma into his prayer, just as spices produce a good smell in cooked food. The opposite kind of behavior will, God forbid, cause a foul odor in one’s prayer (Noam Elimelech; Be’ha’alotecha).

Everything we do throughout the day affects our prayers. We can infuse our prayers with a sweet aroma by being careful with all of our behavior during the day.

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