Rav Avigdor Miller on A Little Davening With A Lot of Thinking



Is it more of a mitzvah to say the whole seder hatefillah every morning or to say part of the davening and think more into the meaning of what I’m saying?


I won’t tell you my own opinion; I’ll just say what the Tur says: טוב מעט בכוונה מהרבה שלא בכוונה – To say a little bit and to think about what you’re saying is much more valuable than to just speed through the whole davening.

It’s very important to utilize the opportunity of the tefillah.  The Chovos Halevavos says that the purpose of davening is המחשבה נמשכת אחר הדיבור, that your thoughts should eventually follow your words. And once you accustom yourself to the שירי דוד עבדך, to saying these words of the songs of Dovid Your servant, and reliving a little bit of the great emotions that he expressed in his love of Hashem, then it awakens in us a response and we also gain a little bit of that feeling. And therefore it’s very important to spend some time doing that during pesukei d’zimra.

Shemona esrei too. Now, you can’t say the whole shemona esrei with iyun because then it will come time for mincha already and you’re still standing shemona esrei. However, if you’ll take every day a little part of shemona esrei and think into it you’ll be surprised what you’ll discover.  It’s like a gold mine.

People don’t realize that the Anshei Knesses Hagedolah who composed the shmona esrei were nevi’im and the greatest chachomim. And they were able to concentrate very deep chochma into these words and therefore you’d be surprised how much you’ll get out of it.  Now, of course sometimes you might imagine wrong peirushim but the more you think into it, you’ll see more and more how profound are their words.  And the purpose of davening with kavana after all, is not merely to say the words, but l’hispallel, which means ‘to make yourself think.’ Pillel means ‘to think’ and li’hispallel means ‘to make yourself think.’ And that’s the success that a person gets from proper tefilla. It elevates his mind and brings him to awareness of Hashem and ahavas Hashem.
TAPE # 950