Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The tummy and the T'fillah

As we move later into the afternoon of Tisha b'Av, there are a number of experiences one undergoes. I want to focus on the experience of prayer whilst in the throes of hunger pangs.

Like the day of Tisha b'Av itself, praying while hungry raises lots of questions. Allow me to apologize in advance for not providing answers or even proposing answers. There is plenty to be said about why we fast, but I want to just list some questions that arise on Tisha b'Av and the minor fast days that may not necessarily be as apparent on Yom Kippur.

1) Does being without nourishment alter our kavanah(intention)in prayer? If so, how?
2) Do petitions for our needs have more or less significance?
3) How do feelings of physical weakness later in the day mirror the mood of the day, and how do we express those feeling through our t'fillot?
4) Are the additions to the amidah appropriate with what we are feeling?
Finally, not a t'fillah question specifically but:
5) Are our feelings about hunger in the world altered? If so, how?

No answers today, but I hope that along with the other thought processes that are ongoing today, my questions will allow us to appreciate the mincha(afternoon) and maariv(evening) t'fillot more fully.

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