There’s nothing like it. When you’re dripping with sweat after a good workout or you’ve gone hours in the sun without drinking, or when you’re so thirsty you feel like you can guzzle an entire ocean, and then someone hands you an ice-cold Gatorade and the cool liquid slides down your parched throat, and your thirst is quenched. It is immensely satisfying.

The first half of prayer focuses on building up a thirst for spirituality. A longing for real connection to G‑d. What is called in Chassidic terminology an “arousal from below,” as we mere mortals put in our best efforts to develop a desire for connection with our Creator.

Then comes the second half of prayer. When we get to quench our thirst and delight our parched souls. And what is it that does so, and fills our deep void and longing? It’s when we feel and experience G‑d’s absolute love for us. Our Father, in His kindness, loves us in an all-encompassing manner, and He allows us to feel His closeness. This is the ultimate thirst-quencher that our soul is seeking, the ultimate connection. As we say in the prayer “Ahavat Olam Ahavtanu”—“You have loved us with everlasting love.” Prayer is not a one-way street, where man talks to G‑d with no response, but a two-way street, where G‑d allows us to feel His presence.

This is, so to speak, the “Ohel Moed”—the “tent of meeting.” The literal Ohel Moed was the actual tent in the Tabernacle that Moses used to talk to G‑d, but it is also symbolic of our relationship with G‑d that we experience during prayer.

The way we engage with G‑d’s light is in a way an ohel, a “tent.” Imagine yourself camping out and sleeping in a tent. You are fully there, even if someone on the outside might not see you. So, too, G‑d’s infinite light resides in physicality. His great light and energy is fully found in physical objects; however, we may not see it, as He is “covered” by physicality. Hidden. We don’t recognize the great G‑dly energy and life-force in this physical world, yet that is where He is found.

The way to access His great light and connect with G‑d is with spiritual practices that engage this physical world, like doing a mitzvah or learning Torah. While G‑d’s light might be “hidden” in a tent-like fashion, He has given us an exact prescription for access to His great love by doing actual good deeds.

And yet, even while His great light is hidden, or tent-like, we can still relate to G‑d in a way of Moed. Moed, which means “meeting,” is also related to the Hebrew word da’at, or “intimate connection.”1 G‑d attaches Himself to His people by revealing His absolute Oneness to them. He allows His children to experience that He is their true life. In His great love for us, He allows us to feel his Oneness and that He is our Source of life in a palpable manner, so that we feel this intimate connection.

It’s like when you miss your friend terribly after not seeing her for many years, and you experience true pleasure when you finally meet up. The soul “misses” its connection to G‑d, and when it experiences G‑d’s love, closeness and Oneness, it is immensely satisfying and pleasurable.

If in the first half of prayer, the soul is thirsty and yearning for G‑d. In the second part of prayer, the soul feels a deep sense of satisfaction and fulfillment in its connection to G‑d. This gives the soul true joy—an even greater joy than could be experienced in the afterlife.

Because only here in a physical body can the soul initiate such desire and have this reciprocal relationship with G‑d, where G‑d reveals Himself in a way of da’at, true intimate knowledge.

And it is this everlasting love that our soul absolutely longs for, as nothing less will quench its thirst.

Source: From the Maamar in Likkutei Torah “Vayidaber ... Bamidbar Sinai B’Ohel Moed,” as explained in Chassidut Mevueret, Chapters 5 and 6.