The process of sublimation is not an easy task.

The daily resurgence of the misleading yetzer (evil disposition) requires the frequency of daily prayer. The hour of prayer is an hour of relentless battle.

The constantly re-emerging materialism of the mundane involved in daily life, challenges man to a laborious struggle if he is to retain the uniquely human image and identity and to remain sensitive to higher ideals and aspirations.

Intense tefilah is the weapon for man to defend himself and to struggle to overcome and conquer all obstacles.

The gravitational pull of material substance to base materialism, which forces man to struggle for spiritual survival, is apparent especially in these days of the galut. The destruction of the first Bet Hamikdash led not only to a dispersion of the Jewish people, but also to an obstruction of the centrifugal position of the Divine spark in man - exiling and imprisoning it, as it were, in his physical body.

At first there had been a powerful emanation of holiness from the Sanctuary in Jerusalem. This radiation of G‑dliness prevented the forces of evil from attaching themselves to man and ruling over him. The spirit of Divinity, the radiance of "the wonders of G‑d," was fully perceived and experienced, through the Holy Temple. Thus there was no need for frequent acts of prayer aside of the reading of the Shema twice daily, and the occasional prayers explicitly prescribed by the Torah.

The return from the Babylonian exile and the rebuilding of the Bet Hamikdash did not restore the pre-exilic condition. There was no longer an all-encompassing concern with spiritual objectives or intellectual contemplation to effect an over-awing awareness of the Echad uMeyuchad, - the sole, true Essence of all.

The destruction of the First Temple and the exile from the Holy Land debased the people, who now felt drawn to material delights.

The yetzer hara, which before (generally speaking) had been in a state of slumber and subjection, was now aroused and made ever- increasing inroads where access had previously been denied.

To counter this trend and stem the tide of materialism, the Anshei Knesset Hagedolah ("Men of the Great Assembly") instituted the set orders of statutory prayers and benedictions (in addition to the original ones).

The turmoil in the period of the Second Temple, and in the galut following its destruction, increased the need for these. In these present times, therefore, tefilah has become the principal avodah (service of G‑d), the focal point around which life must evolve.

Tefilah has thus become our present-day Sanctuary from which the rays of holiness and purity must emanate to pierce, penetrate, pervade, illuminate, and channel all of the material and mundane reality.

It awakens the dormant Torah-conscience of every individual. It frees the imprisoned Divine spark that flickers in each, and makes it burst forth into a fiery flame consuming the obstacles of the body and animal soul, and to generate a state of ardent love and desire to become attached to - verily, united with - the Source of Life.