Section: Tefila   Category: Tefila
Lessons From The Rokei'ach's Scathing Criticism Of The French
We often rush through davening and are not careful about skipping words.  This is surely a mistake that rings very loud and clear when learning the Siddur HaTefila L'Rokei'ach.  In it he describes how each tefila has a set amount of words and gives the reasons.  Each letter and word is precious and has a powerful impact although we don't realize it.

One glaring example where the Rokei'ach even out does his usual self, is his scathing criticism of the French Minhag to add the pasuk in Tehilim (119:1), Ashrei Timimei Derech HaHolchim B'Soras Hashem (Fortunate are they that are upright in the way, who go in the path of Hashem's Torah), in the beginning of Ashrei after Yehi Chivod.  How horrible can that be you ask?

"Therefore everyone who fears Hashem should not listen to the French who add this pasuk", says the Rokei'ach.  "Every G-d fearing man should always daven and say, "B'Sodam Al Tova Nafshi..."  Those who make up from their own heart and add to the Tefila a number of words unnecessarily, cause exile and poverty to their children until the end of the generations.  Those who do not add the words will live peacefully in Olam HaZeh and Olam Haba.

And how does the Rokei'ach know that they are wrong?  Well, from Yehi Chivod until Hashem Elokav in Ashrei there should be 19 times Hashem's name and this extra pasuk would make 20.  He then goes on to list another 19 things that are written 19 times and says there are many more, but to explain why would take more than 8 books.  Also there should only be 152 words.  Also there should be only 3 Ashrei's not 4 just like the other couple of dozen threes that he mentions.  Yes, every word and every letter are precious.  None should be added and none should be skipped.