What wouldn’t any of us do to be zoche to an encounter with Hashem?
While I’m not qualified to opine on what any of us might do to attain such an exalted audience I most certainly can speak to the point of what most of us actually do when accorded such an opportunity.
We space out, we talk, we text, we check our cell to see who called or who is presently calling, we actually answer our cells, and there are even a few who make calls.
About the only thing left out of this litany of misdirected attention is Hashem.
In EmunahSpeak: Tefillah Chronicles we said, Okay, so most of us are somewhere else when we’re davening Shemoneh Esrei, and we’re not that picky about it either. Apparently, anyplace will do, the only criteria being that we wind up “there” as opposed to “here.”
And it has nothing to do with getting sucked into the routine of davening.
Had we been on Har Sinai instead of Moshe Rabbeinu we probably would have spaced out on the view instead of focusing on what Hashem was saying.
And it’s not just davening.
Given our status as an Am Segula, we are blessed with numerous encounters of all kinds.
You ate something?
The brocha you made on the food before you put it in your mouth brought you into close contact with Hashem as did the brocha you made when you finished eating. And so it goes for every brocha one makes irrespective of what it’s made on. If you utter Hashem’s name in the form of a blessing you are instantly given an audience, and a private one at that.
But what good is an audience if you don’t have what to say and you don’t even know what you’re doing there in any case?
Without proper focus as to what we really want from Hashem we tend to tread water in our davening, bentching, asher yatzar or any other brocho that will bind us, however temporarily with Hashem.
In Sim Shalom, which is the last brocha in Shemoneh Esrei, we ask Hashem to bless us…with the light of Your countenance (Ohr Panecha).
Smile at us.
This is what it’s all about, not what we ask for (and receive) in the earlier brochos. Whether we realize it or not, all of the bakoshos are only a moshol. What we are really seeking is the Ohr Panecha.
The ultimate encounter that we seek with Hashem is to be touched by His smile.
This is tefillah in a nutshell. Everything else is simply punctuation.