Skip to content

Sukkat Shalom B'nei Noach

Home » THE THREE COMPONENTS OF PRAYER

THE THREE COMPONENTS OF PRAYER

בס”ד

  1. Ascent, Standing, and Descent
  1. TB Berachot 32b
The early pious ones would wait an hour (before prayer). From where do we derive this? Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said, the verse states (Psalms 84:5), “Happy are they who dwell in Your House”. And Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said, one who is praying must wait an hour after his prayers, as the verse states, (Psalms 140:14), “Surely, the righteous shall give thanks to Your Name, and the upright will sit before You”. Another beraita teaches: one who prays must wait an hour before his prayers, and an hour after his prayers. From where do we derive that he must wait an hour before his prayers? As the verse states, “Happy are they who dwell, etc.” And from where do we derive that he must wait an hour after? As it is written, “Surely, the righteous shall give thanks to Your Name, and the upright will sit before You”.חֲסִידִים הָרִאשׁוֹנִים הָיוּ שׁוֹהִין שָׁעָה אַחַת: מְנָא הָנֵי מִילֵּי? אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן לֵוִי, אָמַר קְרָא: ״אַשְׁרֵי יוֹשְׁבֵי בֵיתֶךָ״. וְאָמַר רַבִּי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן לֵוִי: הַמִּתְפַּלֵּל צָרִיךְ לִשְׁהוֹת שָׁעָה אַחַת אַחַר תְּפִלָּתוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״אַךְ צַדִּיקִים יוֹדוּ לִשְׁמֶךָ יֵשְׁבוּ יְשָׁרִים אֶת פָּנֶיךָ״. תַּנְיָא נָמֵי הָכִי: הַמִּתְפַּלֵּל צָרִיךְ שֶׁיִּשְׁהֶא שָׁעָה אַחַת קוֹדֶם תְּפִלָּתוֹ, וְשָׁעָה אַחַת אַחַר תְּפִלָּתוֹ. קוֹדֶם תְּפִלָּתוֹ, מִנַּיִן? שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״אַשְׁרֵי יוֹשְׁבֵי בֵיתֶךָ״. לְאַחַר תְּפִלָּתוֹ מִנַּיִן? — דִּכְתִיב: ״אַךְ צַדִּיקִים יוֹדוּ לִשְׁמֶךָ יֵשְׁבוּ יְשָׁרִים אֶת פָּנֶיךָ״.

2. Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks z”l

If we study the liturgy carefully we will find that it often has a symmetrical three-part structure, A-B-A, which has the following form: (a) ascent, (b) standing in the Presence, (c) descent

II. The Three-Part Order of Prayer

3. Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Laws of Prayer and the Priestly Blessings 1:2

The nature of this mitzvah is as follows: a person should supplicate and pray every day, and utter the praises of the Holy One, Blessed be He. After this, he should ask for his needs as a request and supplication. Then, he must give praise and thanks to the L-rd for the good with which He has endowed him, each person according to his strength. חיוב מצוה זו כך הוא שיהא אדם מתחנן ומתפלל בכל יום ומגיד שבחו של הקדוש ברוך הוא ואחר כך שואל צרכיו שהוא צריך להם בבקשה ובתחנה ואחר כך נותן שבח והודיה לה׳‎ על הטובה שהשפיע לו כל אחד לפי כחו:

III. Praise

4. Sifrei, Devarim (Deuteronomy) 343:1

And he (Moses) said: The L-rd came from Sinai, and He shone forth from Seir to them”: Scripture (hereby) relates that Moses did not open with the needs of Israel until he opened with the praise of the L-rd. To what may this be compared? To an advocate’s standing upon the podium, having been hired by a man to speak in his behalf, and not opening with the needs of that man until opening with the king’s praise first — “How exalted is our king! How exalted is our master! The sun has shone upon us! The moon has shone upon us!”, all praising with him — after which he opens with the needs of that man, after which he concludes with the praise of the king. Moses, our teacher, likewise, did not open with the needs of Israel until he had opened with praise of the L-rd, viz.: “The L-rd came from Sinai and He shone forth from Seir,” after which he opened with the needs of Israel, viz.: (Ibid. 5) “And He was a King in Yeshurun (Israel),” after which he concluded with praise of the L-rd, viz. (Ibid. 26) “There is none like the Almighty, Yeshurun.”ויאמר ה’ מסיני בא וזרח משעיר, מגיד הכתוב שכשפתח משה לא פתח בצרכם של ישראל תחילה עד שפתח בשבחו של מקום משל ללוטייר שהיה עומד על הבמה ונשכר לאחד לדבר על ידיו ולא פתח בצרכי אותו האיש תחילה עד שפתח בשבחו של מלך אשרי עולם ממלכו אשרי עולם מדיינו עלינו זרחה חמה עלינו זרחה לבנה והיו אחרים מקלסים עמו ואחר כן פתח בצרכו של אותו האיש וחזר וחתם בשבחו של מלך אף משה רבינו לא פתח בצרכי ישראל עד שפתח בשבחו של מקום שנאמר ויאמר ה’ מסיני בא ואחר כך פתח בצרכם של ישראל ויהי בישורון מלך חזר וחתם בשבחו של מקום אין כאל ישורון,  

5. TB Sanhedrin 92b

The Sages taught in a baraita: At the moment that Nebuchadnezzar the wicked cast Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah into the fiery furnace, the Holy One, Blessed be He, said to Ezekiel: Go and revive the dead in the Dura Valley. Once Ezekiel revived them, the bones came and struck Nebuchadnezzar, that wicked man, in his face. Nebuchadnezzar said: What is the nature of these? His servants said to him: The friend of these three, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, is reviving the dead in the Dura Valley. Nebuchadnezzar began and said: “How great are His signs and how mighty are His wonders; His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and His dominion is from generation to generation” (Daniel 3:33). Rabbi Yitzḥak says: Molten gold should be poured into the mouth of that wicked person. His mouth should be sealed in the course of an extraordinary death; in deference to royalty, Rabbi Yitzḥak suggested that gold would be used to accomplish that task. The reason is that if an angel had not come and struck him on his mouth to prevent him from continuing his praise, he would have sought to overshadow all the songs and praises that David recited in the book of Psalms. (Koren-Steinsaltz translation)תנו רבנן בשעה שהפיל נבוכדנצר הרשע את חנניה מישאל ועזריה לכבשן האש אמר לו הקב”ה ליחזקאל לך והחייה מתים בבקעת דורא כיון שהחייה אותן באו עצמות וטפחו לו לאותו רשע על פניו אמר מה טיבן של אלו אמרו לו חבריהן של אלו מחיה מתים בבקעת דורא פתח ואמר (דניאל ג, לג) אתוהי כמה רברבין ותמהוהי כמה תקיפין מלכותיה מלכות עלם ושלטניה עם דר ודר וגו’ א”ר יצחק יוצק זהב רותח לתוך פיו של אותו רשע שאילמלא (לא) בא מלאך וסטרו על פיו ביקש לגנות כל שירות ותושבחות שאמר דוד בספר תהלים

6. Rashi, loc. cit.

Because (Nebuchadnezzar) organized the praises of G-d in a nicer manner than David had, and if he had successfully uttered them, the Holy One, blessed be He would have been pleased more by them than those of David.לגנות – שהיה מסדר שבחות נאות יותר מדוד ואילו אמרן הקב”ה היה נוטה אחריהן יותר מאחרי השירות שעשה דוד:

7. Psalms 150

Hallelujah.
Praise G-d in His sanctuary;
praise Him in the sky, His stronghold. Praise Him for His mighty acts;
praise Him for His exceeding greatness. Praise Him with blasts of the horn;
praise Him with harp and lyre. Praise Him with timbrel and dance;
praise Him with lute and pipe. Praise Him with resounding cymbals;
praise Him with loud-clashing cymbals. Let all that breathes praise the L-RD.
Hallelujah.
הַ֥לְלוּ־קהּ ׀ הַֽלְלוּ־אֵ֥ל בְּקׇדְשׁ֑וֹ הַֽ֝לְל֗וּהוּ בִּרְקִ֥יעַ עֻזּֽוֹ׃ הַלְל֥וּהוּ בִגְבוּרֹתָ֑יו הַ֝לְל֗וּהוּ כְּרֹ֣ב גֻּדְלֽוֹ׃ הַ֭לְלוּהוּ בְּתֵ֣קַע שׁוֹפָ֑ר הַ֝לְל֗וּהוּ בְּנֵ֣בֶל וְכִנּֽוֹר׃ הַ֭לְלוּהוּ בְּתֹ֣ף וּמָח֑וֹל הַֽ֝לְל֗וּהוּ בְּמִנִּ֥ים וְעֻגָֽב׃ הַלְל֥וּהוּ בְצִלְצְלֵי־שָׁ֑מַע הַֽ֝לְל֗וּהוּ בְּֽצִלְצְלֵ֥י תְרוּעָֽה׃ כֹּ֣ל הַ֭נְּשָׁמָה תְּהַלֵּ֥ל קהּ הַֽלְלוּ־קהּ׃

8. Rabbi Menachem Mendel Morgenstern of Kotzk (1787–1859)

Nebuchadnezzar wanted to sing praises of G-d, and an angel came and slapped him on his mouth (Sanhedrin 92b). This is what the angel said to him: you want to sing praises to G-d when the crown is on your head? You should hear how you should sing praises after you have been smacked across your cheek. Here’s a slap, and now sing praises!ביקש נבוכדנצר לומר שירה, בא מלאך וסטרו על פיו” (סנהדרין צב,ב). כך אמרו לו: אתה מבקש לומר שירה כשהכתר על ראשך? כדאי לשמוע איך תאמר שירה אחרי סטירת לחי. הרי לך סטירה ועכשיו אמור שירה

By Rabbi Tani Burton

 

© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further.

Our blogs may contain texts/ quotes or references of Mechon-Mamre.orgAish.comSefaria.org or AskNoah.org  that contain copyrights and which we may use with there permission.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.