Prayer is the pathway to G-d, the experience of a dimension of our lives which transcends the day-to-day, and reminds us that we have a place in eternity.
To pray well, we must get in touch with our deepest selves. That is no easy task.
To pray well, we must “know before Whom we stand.” No easy task, either.
To pray well, we must overcome the gap between ourselves, limited human beings with all our failings, and the Divine, Who will hear our prayers. Even harder.
And yet, we do pray. And one of the reasons we pray is that prayer is a way to get in touch with our deepest selves, of knowing before Whom we stand, and of overcoming the gap between ourselves and the Divine.
In other words, prayer helps us become capable of prayer. No wonder the great rabbis of old used to pray for an hour each day that they would be able to pray.
And we don’t just pray as individuals. Every single day, we pray as a group, as a community, as a minyan. And in minyan, there is mystery.
Something special happens when we come together. By being together, we create something unique. Anchored in the history of our faith, we create something that brings us closer to G-d than any of us, individually, could ever come.
That is why our minyan is a crucial part of our congregational identity. It is a concrete reminder that a Jew is never really alone. That is why we urge people to pick a day a week or a day a month to come to minyan; to come for the yahrzeits of people they know, and for the yahrzeits of people they *don’t* know; to come before a meeting or a class at the shul; to come for a reason, or for no reason at all; to come just because they’re Jewish. And this is what Jews do.