There are times when your soul craves to be spiritual, and there are locations that seem so conducive to filling that need. A retreat in the mountains, a walk at sunset on the beach, a guided meditation deep in the woods. But while doing so can feel very spiritual—and you may even experience a closeness to G‑d—it remains a subjective experience until you move your lips, actually uttering words of prayer to connect to your Creator.

It’s not enough to believe that G‑d is one; it is crucial to pronounce it out loud by reciting the Shema. It’s not enough to be grateful to G‑d for sustaining you; it is crucial to acknowledge it with grace after meals. That’s because your soul up in heaven already knew the truth about G‑d! Its entire purpose in descending to this world is to have the body it resides in echoing the same truth by reciting words of Torah and prayer aloud.

It’s easy to get carried away in the loftiness of mind and place. But the purpose of creation is to remain grounded in this earth, using your physical body and energy to do actual mitzvahs, and to pray to G‑d, enunciating every word.

So go ahead. Move your lips.

Tanya Bit: Judaism is not about disconnecting from the physical to reach the Divine, but bringing the Divine into the physical.

(Inspired from Chapter 38 of Tanya)