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From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu> Date: Sun, 29 Nov 1998 16:35:00 -0500 (EST) Subject: Using numerical measurement to supplement Common Sense approaches Seth Kaddish, V28n32, wrote about concentration in Prayer that > So I am not really into the kind of "timing" that Russell Hendel > wrote about. What is really needed is not stopwatches but common > sense. When I pray, am I talking to God in a meaningful way? Is that really true? Let us look at an analogy--diet patterns. Of course, any doctor will tell you that the important thing is a COMMON SENSE approach to dieting---variety and moderation are the keywords. BUT, a good doctor will also take numerical readings--e.g. a high blood pressure will suggest that perhaps his patients COMMON SENSE dictates alot of salt. Thus the readings are used to guide the discussions on common sense. So to with prayer. Of course I agree that the real issue is "am I talking to God in a meaningful way?". But like the doctor I will take readings--timings of prayer and use them as a guide to diagnosis. e.g Take the actual 3 chapters of Shma: If my patient is taking 2 1/2 minutes or more maybe he is suffering from emphasizing individual words vs praying in phrases--so we should talk. If his shma is only about a minute maybe he is in a rush and thinking about what he has to do at the office. If his reading is 1 1/2 to 2 minutes then he is normal. I hope this clarifies my position--I also hope people like Seth will begin to appreciate the SUPPLEMENTAL utility of using numerical timings in discussing common sense approaches. Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA RHendel @ mcs drexel edu