“A laborer hired to chop wood who spends most of the day sharpening his axe receives a full day’s wages”

 
It is not by chance that the Hasidic world devotes so much time to preparations. 

In Kotzk Hasidism, which so fiercely demanded truth, the prayers themselves were said quickly. 

Yet often the morning prayers began after the sun had already set. 

Preparing one's soul to articulate truth often took the whole day.
 
Rabbi Akiva Eiger's grandson became a Kotzker Hasid and once asked the Kotzker Rebbe. 

"What shall I tell my grandfather when he questions me about our customs of prayer?" 

The Rebbe replied: "Tell him the explicit halakhah: a laborer hired to chop wood who spends most of the day sharpening his axe receives a full day's wages." 

That was Kotzk: most of the day was preparation, fine-tuning the axe blade. 

Once it was sharp, when the lips were lips of truth, the prayers were not time-consuming. 

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
 
From Opening the Tanya by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

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