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They are numerous examples that point to the fact that having tears during prayer is a goal and also certainly a praiseworthy thing.

But why is that? Are all aspects of davening worthy of tears- meaning is it something to ‘cry’ about, for example the first ברכה of the עמידה. (Will crying in such an instance enhance the ברכה etc.?) Surely when we are beseeching God to heal the sick for example that can trigger an emotional response - but that is not the question.

if the question is unclear to you, type some questions in the comments and I’d love to clarify

  • Are you asking why it's considered good to cry in tefillah in general? Or, are you asking whether it's good to cry in any part of tefillah, or only at certain points? – Joel K Aug 29 '18 at 13:45
  • @Joelk well, yes -Anti – Antidisestablishmentarianism Aug 29 '18 at 14:18
  • Yes what? (15 chars) – Joel K Aug 29 '18 at 14:21
  • Should you cry during Hallel? – Double AA Aug 29 '18 at 16:09
  • I noticed that when you're on your knees in private prayer with tears flowing the prayers have a tendency to work better. I don't know if it's a focusing/concentrating thing or something heavier that other folks here might be able to explain but....it just works better.. – Gary Aug 29 '18 at 17:21
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My own theory:

Some of the emotions that generate tears are helplessness and vulnerability.

(See here “Recent psychological theories of crying emphasize the relationship of crying to the experience of perceived helplessness.”)

We believe that HKB”H is directing the world; we may do our hishtadlus but He is in control.

When we realise that we stand before HKB”H and are so-to-speak in contact with Him, it is totally appropriate that we abandon our self-confidence and hence come to tears.

Therefore it is the very encounter with HKB”H that brings about the emotion that generates the tears.

These tears of dependence are the goal in prayer.

  • +1 A lot of this answer is backed up by Chazal I can think of IMHO – David Kenner Aug 29 '18 at 16:11

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