Davening is the place where the BT can feel vindicated. Park for a moment the speed factor: that is keeping up or better yet catching up with the Minyan. In the private sense, I think most BT’s tend to take the Avodah- the job of it seriously and are shocked and outraged when in the place of prayer they occasionally find others involved in all kinds of distracting behavior including talking.
We BT’s are usually idealistic. We come to the table primarily interested in connecting with HASHEM. The Siddur is not seen as a school-book and Prayer was never experienced as an activity that was ever thrust upon us as a requirement. It is in fact one of the most safe and rewarding places for a BT. Why might that be generally so?
Reb Tzadok HaKohen said that of the three pillars on which the world stands, Torah, Avoda-Prayer, and Gemilas Chessed, two of the three improve with abundance. The more Torah a person has the greater the capacity to learn and teach they possess. The same is true of Gemilas Chassadim. The more resources one has the more they can do for others. When it comes to prayer, the opposite is true. The more one lacks or realizes their vulnerability the deeper will be the prayer. Davening is the great equalizer. This is the place where our deficiency becomes our asset.
The sincere BT is not there to unload words, or filibuster The Almighty or his conscience. The BT will tend to take the task of the heart to heart until of course he becomes a regular customer and then its time for everyone of us to long for the days when our heads felt empty but our heart were full. Chadesh Yameinu K’Kedem! Renew our days like before!!!
First published on Jan 03, 2006