These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

[Self / Soul & Text] Tahanun Practice

Posted on April 17, 2012 by David Bogomolny

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The Tachanun practice that we learned in class has shaped my daily davening.

It took my a few minutes in class to take the practice seriously – to really relate to the idea of being dead, rather than just playing dead – but after a while, I was able to see my mat as a grave and lie “in” it, as a corpse would. Lying on my back, as a corpse would, helped me connect with the practice, and it also allowed me to read my siddur comfortably while lying horizontally.

I really like the idea of Tahanun coming after the Amida – I appreciate having visual and emotional imagery to assist me with my davening every day, as I seek this on my own. The idea of collapsing into death after reaching the heights of spirituality is very powerful for me, and it help me set the mood for my davening. Ever since we learned about this practice during davening, I’ve truly found Tachanun to be more meaningful. I totally dig it.