“If I am not for myself, who is for me? [But when I am for myself, what am I?]” (Avot 1:14)

When you pray, you must be divested of physical reality. This is the meaning of “If I am not for myself”-i.e., when I am thus divested-then “who is for me?,” i.e., I am not afraid of alien thoughts. “But when I am for myself, what am I?,” i.e., in my state of self-awareness there are many alien thoughts. 1

The saying “When I am here, all is here” (Sukah 53a), too, can be interpreted in like manner. 2