I know you’re probably sitting comfortably and reading this article, but I’d like to ask you to do something unconventional. I’d like to ask you to lift your hand high above your head, as high as you can, and then pull down, as if pulling down something from a very high shelf. Repeat. And now repeat it just a few more times. Great exercise, no?

Here’s the thing. When you pray every day, while you are not physically pulling anything down, you are doing so spiritually. And there is one specific prayer that is designed to draw down as much as is spiritually possible: the Amidah.

During the Shema, we request that G‑d reveal within us that “the L‑rd is our G‑d.” While we do reach a level of love of G‑d during the Shema prayer–and in bygone eras that may have sufficed for the soul–for us, it is not enough, and the Amidah is necessary. The closer we get to the time of the final Redemption, the more negativity tries to grab its last hold on us and the more we need to up the spiritual dose as an antidote. And so during the Amidah, we take it a step further.


The Amidah is made up of many blessings, and is generously sprinkled with the Hebrew word baruch, which means “blessed.” But the Mishnah has another connotation for the word baruch, as in the Hebrew word hamavrich, which means “to draw down.”

This means that during the Amidah, we are repeatedly requesting to draw down more and really feel and experience that the L‑rd is our G‑d. We want to feel that He is real! We pray to G‑d to help us experience Him and feel Him in a way that relates to our experience.

Every time we say the word baruch, we are asking for a revelation of G‑d. This is followed by the word Atah (“You”), which represents G‑d being as real to us as when we address another person as “you,” as a reinforcement of experiencing the “L‑rd is our God” from the Shema.

The Amidah is thus about revealing G‑d’s Essence in our heart, so that the negative side of us, by default, gets overtaken. The war on inner darkness isn’t won with shooting bullets, but with inspiration and spiritual energies. The more spiritual light that is revealed within us, the more the darkness vanishes.

So on a day when we feel that bitterness, anger, temptation and despair beckon us, the more we respond—not by aiming daggers, but by lighting spiritual candles. This is done in the form of concentrating during the Amidah. In doing so, we are literally asking and yanking down spiritual energy to help us overcome any spiritual blockages we may have.

Soul Note: Rather than get overwhelmed from internal conflict, I can concentrate, while reciting the Amidah, on drawing down spiritual strength to overcome it.

Source: The Maamar, Ki Tihiyena L’ish, in Likutei Torah, as explained in Chassidut Mevueret, Chapter 6.