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Insights on Prayer

Why Would an Atheist Pray?
Perhaps atheists and believers have more in common than they imagine.
Whose Prayer Is It, Anyway?
My friend expressed his deep frustration at his inability to find a meaningful way to express himself to G-d. He had looked into different "brands" of Judaism, yet there seemed to be no "perfect match," none that fit his spiritual needs
Are We Being True to Ourselves?
Prayer is an admission of sorts. We admit that we have a tendency to be intellectually disingenuous throughout the day.
Two-Faced Honesty
Hypocrisy is not always a bad thing
Honesty is a great virtue, but there are exceptions to this rule. Prayer is a prime example.
Answers in Boxes
Some say every prayer is answered, but sometimes the answer is, "no." They do not understand the secret of prayer.
The Art of Preparation for Prayer
A conversation with Rabbi Adin Even-Yisreol (Steinsaltz)
Jewish prayer is an "I-you" relationship with God. Nothing can be simpler. Nothing can be more difficult.
Open Your Mouth
They turn to me clueless and ask, "What did he say?" I translate. We're all speaking the same language, but only I can decipher what he is saying...
The Challenge of Scripted Prayers
Can a person’s relationship with his Creator be expressed in a scripted prayer? Is it possible to dictate the feelings one should be conveying to G-d?
Transcendence through Prayer
Leadership and prayer: the two share a common theme.
Advice to an Expectant Mother
Of course, none of this is for you—it’s all for the unborn. So there's no self-indulgence going on. Just good pre-parenting. Right?
Wrestling with Angels
The struggle between Jacob and the "angel of Esau", which "raised dust up to the Supernal Throne", is the cosmic struggle between the spirituality of Israel and the materiality of Edom (Rome). The struggle is conducted on two planes -- "with the divine and with men"
Higher and Higher
But today we cannot be satisfied with yesterday's standards of accomplishment. Not only is yesterday's liberation insufficient, imperfect--it is, for today, a strait, a limitation, an Egypt from which an exodus must be experienc
Words of Song
No, I don’t mean words that are sung. I mean the words that music speaks: the nuances and motifs of a melody that take the defined boundaries in which we have boxed ourselves, our feelings and our ideas, and transport them to a higher place.
Jacob's Ladder and Prayer
We might be at home, or in the synagogue. We might be praying in Hebrew, or in another language. What are we trying to do when we pray?
The Wild Horse
The dualistic self is not a pleasant experience. To achieve peace, the restless and antic-ridden monkey-mind has to strive for focus; the wild horse must be tamed
Birds of Pray
The best time to watch birds is in the morning. In fact, the more closely you adhere to the optimal schedule of Jewish devotion, the more certain you are to miss the most beautiful aspect of watching the birds, and that is... listening to them.
Heading for the Peak
Every day, I’m faced with the challenge of scaling my inner self, reaching the peak of my psycho-spiritual range, lifting myself from the base of life’s mountain. So, to properly guide my life, it’s actually helpful to get a better understanding of mountain climbing...
The Belated Dinner
After waiting for what seems like an eternity, his wife places a plate before him. He takes a look, and all he sees is a hard-boiled egg and a potato!
The Stolen Prayer
This Midrash raises more questions than it answers.
4 Tips for Focused Prayer
I am human, and sometimes my mind wanders. So I’ve developed a few methods that help keep me focused during prayer.
Let Him In
There is one place G-d cannot enter until you let Him in, and that is your heart.
Hundreds of thousands of people around the world stop what they’re doing—working, driving, talking—to come together.
7 Facts About the Traveler’s Prayer Every Jew Should Know
Known as Tefilat Haderech (“Prayer for the Way”), the traveler’s prayer is a single paragraph that we say when setting out on a journey.
I’ve Been ‘Brainwashed’
I’ve been saying these words for so many years that they are engraved in my mind. Impossible to remove, impossible to change.
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