(c) 2000 Dr Hendel; 1st appeared in Torah Forum (c) Project Genesis

Date: Thu, 27 Aug 1998 20:31:06 -0400
From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel)
Subject: Re: Davening (Praying)

I feel funny responding to my own posting. Yaakie@juno.com had asked for
the proper intentions during prayer.  I in turn mentioned that Rambam
Prayer Chap 1 indicated that one should petition God in each blessing
according to the content of that blessing.

I recently had the privilege of speaking before AISH HATORAH on Rabbi
Samson Raphael Hirsch's beautiful yet deep suggestion that the daily prayer
is nothing but a symbolic interpretation of the morning offering. For
example the first organ offered up is the HEAD and the first intermediate
blessing is the request for UNDERSTANDING.

Those who want to look at an outline of the lecture (which doesn't do it
full justice since I spoke for 2 hours) may download the outline at

Of relevance to Yaakie@juno.com's question is an EXERCISE I performed with
my class. They had to take daily situations and then indicate where in the
daily prayer you would ask for that item.

As an amusing but illuminating example the group considered the problem of
raising/disciplining children. The question "Where would you pray for this
in the daily prayer" was answered as follows:
* Give us UNDERSTANDING (to know how to deal with children)
* Help us REPENT (ie.cause our children to repent of their bad behavior)
* Please FORGIVE (i.e. help us FORGIVE our children so can reestablish a
relationship with them).

I would warmly recommend this exercise to anyone seriously interested in

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA