Kitzur Tefilat Amecha #1

[adapted for middle-schoolers by Rabbi Shmuel Jablon from Rav Aviner's three-volume commentary on the siddur "Tefilat Amecha"]

When we learn Torah, we have the opportunity to listen to Hashem. When we daven, it is our opportunity to speak to Hashem. This is an amazing gift. Even though Hashem is the Creator and King of the Universe, He wants each and every one of us to talk to Him. We get to ask Him for what we want and we need. We do this by using the Siddur that was given to us by the Anshei Knesset haGedolah­ - the Men of the Great Assembly - that included the greatest Prophets and Sages of thousands of years ago. This is a great thing as most people would not know how to write their own proper Tefillot to say three times a day. We also would not know what to say, and focus too much on our individual needs and not enough on what all of Klal Yisrael needs. But we also cannot forget that we are also expected to add our own thoughts and feelings to our tefillot. Sometimes that means bringing new feelings or emotions to what’s written in the Siddur. We can best do that when we know what is in the Siddur and what it means. It also means adding our own Tefillot at the end of the Amida or at other times in the day.