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This week we read the Torah portion of Eikev. In this Parshah, the Torah teaches us the second paragraph of Shema, which begins, “And it will be if you obey My commandments that I command you this day … and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Rashi cites the words “and to serve Him with all of your heart” and explains as follows. “This means with a service of the heart, namely prayer. We refer to prayer as service, as it says, “your G-d, Whom you serve regularly.”
The Mishnah, at the beginning of Chapter Five of Berochos, says, “One must not stand up to say the Amidah without deep earnestness (literally a heavy head).” Rabbi Dov Ber, the Maggid of Mezritch, explains this as follows. One may not pray for his own needs…
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