|Art: Chava Roth|
The Mishna in Pirkei Avos says that Torah is acquired in 48 ways, consisting of Middos, Yiras Shamayim, and teaching methods, including things like humility, happiness, learning with others and from a Rebbi, etc. Yet prominently missing from this long list is Tefila. How is it possible that Tefila which is the answer to all problems did not make the top 48?
Rav Binyomin Finkel says that the reason Tefila is not on the list is because Tefila is needed for all 48 ways. In order to manage to do even one of the things on the list you need to daven for help from Hashem.
Rav Mattisyahu Solomon has a different approach. The Mishna in Pirkei Avos says there are three pillars of the world, Torah, Tefila, and Gemilus Chasadim. The three pillars says Rav Mattisyahu are all completely interrelated and success in any one depends on success in the other two.
We often think that we need to daven in order that Hashem should give us the things we so desperately need or want. Quite the opposite says Rav Mattisyahu. Hashem holds back our needs from us in order that we should daven, for if we didn't daven the world would cease to exist. Therefore he explains that we our lack of Torah is in order to force us to daven, meaning the purpose of davening for Torah is not only to acquire Torah but for the davening's sake itself.