Many say the paragraph “Mah Tovu” when entering the synagogue in the morning. See, for example, here and here.

מַה טּבוּ אהָלֶיךָ יַעֲקב מִשְׁכְּנתֶיךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל. וַאֲנִי בְּרב חַסְדְּךָ אָבא בֵיתֶךָ אֶשְׁתַּחֲוֶה אֶל הֵיכַל קָדְשְׁךָ בְּיִרְאָתֶךָ. ה' אָהַבְתִּי מְעון בֵּיתֶךָ וּמְקום מִשְׁכַּן כְּבודֶךָ. וַאֲנִי אֶשְׁתַּחֲוֶה וְאֶכְרָעָה אֶבְרְכָה לִפְנֵי ה' עשִׂי. וַאֲנִי תְפִלָתִי לְךָ ה' עֵת רָצון אֱלהִים בְּרָב חַסְדֶּךָ עֲנֵנִי בֶּאֱמֶת יִשְׁעֶךָ.

How great are your tents, O Jacob, your dwelling places, O Israel! As for me, through Your abundant grace, I enter your house to worship with awe in Your sacred place. O Lord, I love the House where you dwell, and the place where your glory tabernacles. I shall prostrate myself and bow; I shall kneel before the Lord my Maker. To You, Eternal One, goes my prayer: may this be a time of your favor. In Your abundant love, O God, answer me with the Truth of Your salvation.

The words do not seem to specify prayer just in the morning. They seem appropriate for mincha and maariv too. Why then are they not suggested for every time one enters a synagogue (or a different synagogue to the one where I prayed in the morning?)

  • 1
    Are you certain no one says Mah Tovu except in the mornings?
    – ezra
    Commented Jun 26, 2017 at 21:17
  • Please clarify if you mean only the 1st verse or the entire set of verses that you cited.
    – DanF
    Commented Jun 26, 2017 at 21:20
  • 2
    Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/35844/5275
    – DanF
    Commented Jun 26, 2017 at 21:25
  • @ezra See ^^^^^
    – DanF
    Commented Jun 26, 2017 at 21:26
  • 1
    I have heard of a minhag to say this every time one enters a synagogue
    – Laser123
    Commented Jun 26, 2017 at 21:46


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