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The Pros and Cons of Praying at Home

            There are many benefits and drawbacks to praying at home. If you pray at home, it is more spontaneous meaning that the prayer will come directly from the heart. When in Synagogue, people are not focused on praying, they just want to know what the football scores are. One of the drawbacks of praying in Synagogue is that when people around you are not focused, you will not be focused on praying.
             Firstly, if one prays at home, they don't have to worry about how they look or having to worry about fitting in by following a certain tune. When you pray at home, you can fix your mind on one thing, praying. In Synagogue, people lose concentration because no one around them is concentrated. At home you can pray spontaneously removing any distractions. Also if prayer is spontaneous, it comes from the heart due to there being no distractions.
             Secondly, G-D is everywhere around us. If that is true then why should someone have to do a long walk to go to Synagogue? For some people, going to Synagogue can be a real horror due to the fact that they live so far away. Praying while being angry affects the quality of the prayer. The Baal Shem Tov said, "It is important to know the meaning of every word that you pray, and to focus your heart on their meaning as you utter those words". If G-D is everywhere, then praying from home is better for most people as they will be happier when praying as praying without a meaning has no use because G-D only hears meaningful prayers from us.
             Even though there are many reasons why praying from home is good, there are also many reasons why we should pray in Synagogue together. Firstly, praying together prolongs life for people. An example of this is an elderly woman once came to Rabbi Yossi ben Chalafta and said, "I'm very old. My life has become unpleasant. I can't taste food or drink, and I would like to pass away." Rabbi Yossi said to her, "What mitzvah do you do every day?" She replied, "Even when I can instead do something that I enjoy very much, early every morning, I go to the synagogue to pray.

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