I have two quotes along with my thoughts on them, to share today with you, the world. The first is from Rabbi Kook, first chief Rabbi of Israel, and the second from the late Lubavitcher Rebbe.
First quote: "Just as poetry has rules, rules have poetry."
Thoughts: My first thought, and one echoed by my wife is that this is a beautiful quote. My second thought, is I feel this sums up Judaism. Judaism has the spiritualness to take a person higher and higher, until he can almost just touch Hashem as it were. However, in order to access that spiritualness, one has to follow the rules of the game, or else it doesn't work. There are no shortcuts when it comes to coming closer to Hashem. Many non religious Jews see Judaism as just being about rules, do this, don't do that, etc. Rules are important, and they are meant to keep us safe, however within the rules there is a lot of beauty and poetry. I think davening is a great example of this. My wife and i have been to two different shuls in our little neighborhood for friday night services, with a little bit of difference for style the davening was the exact same basic formula, and just like I would have davened at home, the Amida is just as it always was on Friday night. It's a rule and it's beautiful.
Second quote: "The wax is the body and the wick is the soul. Bring the flame of Torah to the soul, then the body will fulfill the purpose for which it was created. And that is what I try to do-to ignite the soul of every Jew and Jewess with the fire of Torah, with the passion of our tradition, and with the sanctity of our heritage, so that each individual will fulfill the real purpose for which he or she was created." It was then asked of the Rebbe, "Has the Rebbe lit my candle?" "No, I have given you the match. Only you can light your own candle."
Thoughts: Wow, just wow this means you are the keeper of your own flame. It is up to you how much you feed it, and for how long. One thing I would add is that the oxygen is prayer, without prayer there really is no Torah, no continuous life giving force to keep the flame going.