And this I'll answer as follows. At first you have to be a hypocrite. You have to do it superficially; you have to say the words. And that's what we do when we daven, we're talking to Hashem but actually, korov Ata b'fihem vrochok m'kilyoseihem,the Navi said, You are close in their mouths but You're far away from their kidneys. Which means You're far away from their insides. That's the truth. That's what davening is. It's only if a man sincerely embarks on a career of learning to speak to Hashem that his davening finally becomes meaningful. After a while when he says Ato, he feels he's talking to Somebody. When that great day comes, you have arrived.
And so, first you're superficial, you're a hypocrite. Of course it's a good hypocrisy; you're doing it to train yourself. You talk to Hashem, and you say "I thank you Hashem that You have made me healthy." When you see a man hopping in the street with one empty trouser's leg, with crutches, and you have two good legs, you have to stop and think: Baruch Ato Hashem that I have two legs. You see a man walking on the street and oneempty sleeve pinned to his pocket, you have to thank Hakadosh Baruch Hu that you have two.
And so little by little you get accustomed to saying the words, and after a while you're going to feel that there's Somebody actually listening, that the Mesillas Yeshorim says.
At first you say it, and after a while the realization enters your mind, because you have an instinct that all human beings have, that Hashem actually is there and is listening.
Gmar Chasima Tova To All
An extra moment with Rabbi Miller
I would tell you, if you're a frum Jew, walk into a fruit store and stand there for three minutes, and look around and let your eyes drink in the glories of Hashem's summer. While you're there, take out your hand and bang yourself on the breast, don't care that they're looking at you.
Ashamnu, bogadnu, gozalnu...aah ribono shel olam..look what You're doing for me, I repent...
I am going to keep my mouth closed and watch what I am saying
I won't waste my evening's anymore
I am going to go to shiurim, and on Shabbos I am going to come to learn in the afternoon instead of sleeping all day in bed
I am going to give more tzdoko
I am going to keep my mouth closed when I get home and not to bother my wife when she's in the kitchen
I won't talk loshon hora on my neighbors
I'm going to be mekayeim mitzvos with more zrizus
I'll daven with more kavana
All of those things you can say as a result of v'achalta v'savata, that's what it's intended for
This is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures. To listen to the audio of this Q & A please dial: 201-676-3210