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 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 tefillah is המחשבה נמשכת אחר הדיבור – your thoughts follow your words. And once you accustom yourself to שירי דוד עבדך – to saying these words, 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 that feeling. It’s very important to spend some time doing that.
Now, you can’t say the whole shemone esrei with iyun because then it will come time for mincha already and you’re still standing shemone esrei. However, if you’ll take every day a little part of shemone esrei and concentrate on it, think into it, you’ll be surprised what you’ll discover. It’s like a gold mine.
People don’t realize, the Anshei Knesses Hagedolah who composed the shmone esrei, were nevi’im and the greatest chachomim. And they were able to concentrate very deep chochma into these words. 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. L’hispallel, “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