Brachot 8 - The Synagogue
Rav Itzchak said to Rav Nachman, "Why does the master (Rav Nachman) not come to the synagogue to pray?" Rav Nachman answered, "I feel weak." - "Then assemble ten people to pray with you!" - "I don't want to trouble them." - "Then ask a messenger to come and inform you when they pray." Finally, Rav Nachman asked, "What is the significance of all these questions?" Rav Itzchak answered, "Because it is a favorable time," as in " but for me, my prayer to God is at the favorable time ," and what is this - when the congregation prays. Anyone who has a synagogues in his city and does not go there to pray is called an evil neighbor.
The phrase " Pray to God when He is (easily) found " can also be understood as "Pray to God when you need to find (something)." What is this something one should pray for? - A good wife, as Solomon said, "One who found a wife found goodness." Some say, this is Torah, about which Solomon said "He who find me finds life." And some say, easy death when his time comes. The hardest death is similar to pulling branches of thorns from a ball of wool shearings, and the easiest is like removing a hair from milk.
Rava asked Rafram bar Pappa, "Tell us some of the great things that Rav Chisda said about a synagogue." Rafram answered: " God loves the places where they study the Torah more than all the sanctuaries of Jacob (synagogues) " - that is, God loves places of practical study of the law more than all synagogues. Then how is this a great thing about synagogues? - It is, because, synagogues God He loves next, right after study halls.
Art: Allan Ramsay - The painters wife, Margaret Lindsay