The Gemara tells us that Tefilla
corresponds to the תמיד offering (קרבן).
This is shown in the following:
A) In Shemoneh Esrei in the Bracha of רצה—Avoda, Temple Service—we sayובתפלתם והשב את העבודה לדביר ביתך ואשי
ישראל ותפלתם..., be favorable toward their prayer and
restore the service to the Holy of Holies of Your Temple, The fire offerings of
Israel and their prayer accept favorably.
B) It is writtenוהביאותים
אל הר קדשי ושמחתים בבית תפלתי עולתיהם וזבחיהם...,
I will bring them to My holy mountain and gladden them in My House of prayer,
their elevation and feast offerings will find favor on My Altar. That is to
say, הר קדשי, the Beis Hamikdash where קרבנות, offerings were brought
is also בית תפלתי, house of prayer.
C) At the conclusion of Shemoneh Esrei we sayיהי רצון...שיבנה בית המקדש...וערבה לה' מנחת יהודה..., may it be the will of
Hashem that the Beis Hamikdash should be rebuilt…then the offering of Yehuda
will be pleasing to You, as Tefilla is in place of Avoda.
Since Tefilla is in the place
of קרבנות, we should daven in that way.
1) A קרבן is a ריח ניחוח, pleasing aroma to Hashem. This is how our davening should be.
This can be done by davening with a pleasant voice, being on time and so on.
2) Just as קרבנות are in a set place, so
too one should have a מקום קבוע, set place for Tefilla.
3) For קרבנות, a גוף נקי, clean body is necessary. The same applies when we daven as one
can’t daven if he needs to use the bathroom and the like.
4) A קרבן is offered while the
This is just as the main parts of Tefilla must be recited while standing.
5) The recital of Tefilla (Shemoneh Esrei) is
in the plural (as in סלח לנו, forgive us, רפאנו, heal us, and so on) similar
to קרבנות that are brought as a קרבן צבור, communal offering.
6) We do הפשט
skinning the animal and cutting it into pieces. In a similar way, we must do
the same in that we prepare our mind before davening, humble ourselves and
realize we are about to daven to Hashem, the source of everything.
7) Just as the wrong thought (thinking to eat
it beyond the time limit or in the wrong place) invalidates a קרבן, likewise, we must not have a מחשבה זרה, foreign thought during
8) Salt is placed on קרבנות—על כל קרבנך תקריב מלח, on every offering,
Similarly, we should daven with tears (which are salty).
9) Just as the Kohen’s feet must be aligned
during his עבודה, service, similarly, during Shemoneh
Esrei, our feet should be aligned.
קרבנות connect us to Hashem. This is shown in the word קרבן as it is rooted in קרוב, to come close because
it brings us closer to Hashem. Similarly, Tefilla is an expression of
connection as in נפתולי אלה-ים נפתלתי.
How much can one attach
himself to Hashem during Tefilla? The Baal
Hatanya needed to be revived many times in the middle of Tefilla because of his
דביקות, attachment to Hashem. When the Kedushas Levi would daven, no one
was able to go near him because of the abundant Kedusha. The Shomer Emunim
relates that a רשע גמור, completely wicked person that heard the
Tefilla of the Kedushas Levi would do Teshuva against his will! His Tefilla would even
cause non-Jews to convert!!!
Rabbi Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander
Ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia
Goldberg. Rabbi Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and
publications. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim
where he studies, writes and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching
Jews of all levels of observance.