Let My People Know

"If a man wishes to relate to God, he cannot jail Him in the synagogue"


One of the specific components of faith is the personal relation between the one who hears and the one who speaks.

I must believe (and be prepared to pass on this belief to others) that when I stand with my face toward the wall, I am not speaking to the wall, but I am speaking to God, and He hears my prayer and answers it in some fashion. 

This is part of the education for faith and there must be an injection of this understanding into ordinary life.

If a man wishes to relate to God, he cannot jail Him in the synagogue, without any connection with the surrounding world. 

If I wish to explain to a small child or to a grown man what prayer is, I must of necessity say that there is One "who hears prayer," and by this relate not only to the specific blessing in the Amidah ("Blessed is He who hears our prayer") but to the actual concept itself. 

And if there is one who hears prayer, then the blessing "He who hears prayer" is part of the nature of life—not only when I pray, but at other times as well.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

From  On Being Free, “Prayer Education” p. 109, by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz