Tefillah Tips - Know In Front of Whom You are Standing

In many synagogues there is an important statement found either on the Aron /Ark or another prominent location that reads Dah Lifney Mi Atoh Omed – which means Know In Front of Whom You Are Standing. This alerts us to remember throughout our time in the synagogue to behave with the utmost respect and reverence in the House of G-d - The Synagogue.

There are many distractions in shul. We may sit next to people we have not seen in a while and there may be a lot of info to catch up on. Shul services can last up to a few hours and it is not easy to remain reverent the entire time. Therefore – the sign reads:

Know In Front of Whom You are Standing

The problem is that no one knows G-d the way that we know our families, friends and neighbors. So how exactly are we supposed to Know In Front of Whom We Are Standing? If we would really be cognizant and Know in front of whom we are standing, prayer could be a different experience.

Suggestions: Think about anything that brings you joy – e.g. your family, your favorite location on earth, your favorite delicacy – and realize it all comes from G-d. Think outside of your world and think of the big picture. Think of space, the galaxies and the myriad of planets above and realize that G-d is the architect, the builder and the manager of them all. Think about why we have a synagogue anyway – to praise, thank and communicate with G-d.

Despite the fact that we cannot know G-d, we do know what G-d has done and does in our world. It is this awareness that fuels our concentration and sensitivity to daven / pray with all of our hearts.

May all of our prayers be answered – and may we always Know in front of whom we are standing.