7/08/2005

The Science of Tefillah

I think it’s really interesting that facing Mizrach gets our prayers to Jerusalem faster. Good to know. There are just a couple of questions that I have, though:

1. What if I’m slightly off? Like, let’s say I’m facing Teverya? Do the prayers just keep going round and round (assuming the Earth is round, of course) until they eventually hit Jerusalem? It’s bound to happen sooner or later?

2. On a sphere, the best way to travel between two points on the surface is to follow the circumference which contains both points. That’s why, when one flies from the US to Israel, one will overfly Newfoundland. If that’s the case, why don’t we follow the same rules when it comes to prayers? Shouldn’t we all daven facing Newfoundland?

3. Why de we assume that our prayers are affected by the Earth’s gravitational pull? Shouldn’t they just go off into space at the tangent from where I’m standing? Is the best we can hope for that they intersect, at some point, with the line that runs straight up from Jerusalem?

4. Perhaps our prayers penetrate solid Earth. In that case, shouldn’t we all be facing the ground, with the angle depending on how far one is from earthly Jerusalem.

This stuff can get really confusing, no? Perhaps someone should write a book about it. There should be no problem getting approbations.
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