I am currently studying Berachos 6 and am a little confused about prayer in Shul and at home. Because my Shul does not offer Shachris, I pray the the morning prayers at home. But from what I am understanding in Ber 6, one's prayers are only heard in the Synagogue. Is this accurate? If so, what about all those who pray Minchah and Maariv either at their office or home or pray Shachris (as I do) at home. Are our prayers not heard??
Chaim Garcia, Jackson, New Jersey USA
We find many examples in the Talmud where the Sages use language which is clearly not to be interpreted strictly literally. For instance the Sages tell us (Shabbos 105b) that one that tears his clothes or breaks objects out of anger is to be considered as if he is serving idols. Taken literally, this would mean that if you see someone snapping his pencil out of anger and you give him the proper warning (Hasra'ah), he would then be liable the death penalty for serving idols. Obviously ridiculous.
I think we can say that this is just such an example. Clearly, if the person is unable to daven in a shul - he is sick, in jail - and he davens a heart felt prayer, that it is heard by Hash-m. The Sages only want to emphasize in very strong language how important it is to daven in a place with extra Kedushah, such as a shul or yeshiva.
This is not a Psak Halachah