One of the striking features of this week’s parsha, the longest parsha in the Torah, is the repetition of the offerings brought by the leaders of the 12 tribes for the dedication of the Mishkan, the portable sanctuary in the desert.
The Torah which is so economical with its words repeats each and every detail when it could have just stated, that all 12 leaders brought the following offering.
The Midrash, in anticipation of this question, explains that while all the offerings were identical, the thoughts and feelings that each leader brought to the offering varied.
The lesson for us is clear. There are some who feel that the standard prayers composed by the Men of the Great Assembly, who were divinely inspired, is too uniform and even outdated. Why not have each person experiment with new prayers to replace the “old.”
The answer is that when we compose our own prayers it lacks the spiritual power that our standard prayers were endowed with. On the other hand, although we recite identical prayers, each one of us has a unique individualistic intent, so that all of our prayer are simultaneously one and as varied as we are as people.
As we stand on the cusp of the Messianic Age we are all united in the desire for a better world when we implore G-d to bring us the Final Redemption. It is important that we suffuse our unified request with our individual, heartfelt and unique feelings.