Prayer and Religious Articles: Prayer and Blessings: Beginning Prayer with Mah Tovu:
Why do we begin the prayers with "Mah Tovu"?
"Mah Tovu" is said in praise of the synagogue ("ohalecha",
"mishkenosecha","beisecha",...). In principle, it should be said when entering a synagogue; but the phrase "eis ratzon" applies to prayer (anywhere) at the proper time.
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