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The Power of Pausing

Twenty-Minute Pauses

Everyone agreed that Shimon was extraordinary. His unique personality might not have been readily discernable from the outside; however, after speaking to him, you would agree that Shimon was not like everyone else.

Shimon was extremely careful about whatever he said. In fact, he'd spend twenty minutes formulating what he was going to say. Needless to say, Shimon did not get into long conversations, and he did not have any arguments with his wife.

While Shimon did not say a lot, it was blatantly clear that every sentence he uttered was appropriate and free of speech transgressions. That was because everything he said had been thought out thoroughly.

One of our biggest problems in regard to tefillah is that when we start Shemoneh Esrei our thinking mechanism tends to shut down. We go into automatic pilot, and the tefillah just flows out of our mouth. At times we might even forget that we are praying.

Chazal provided us with the antidote to this dilemma some moments of pause. Although we are certainly not obligated to wait twenty minutes between each berachah, waiting before, during and after tefillah can assist us in instilling thought into our prayers. Once our hearts and minds are focused on tefillah, our words have the ability to ascend to the highest pinnacles of creation.

Text Copyright 2013 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and



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