The Yetzer Hara & Aleinu
Whether at Shachris, Mincha, or Maariv, more often than not I absentmindedly rush through Aleinu. The fact that this tefilla is attributed to Yehoshua who composed it after toppling the walls of Yericho has remained for me just that - simply a fact.
While contemplating the subject of obstacles, my brain made the connection between the walls of Yericho and the walls in my mind. I finally understood why the yetzer hara fought me tooth and nail for so long in its attempt to ensure that I disregard Aleinu.
Aleinu contains within it the tremendous power to obliterate obstacles. The yetzer hara views it as if it were a nuclear weapon that is intended to be used against it. Thus, the yetzer hara works overtime and continually schemes to prevent a person from saying this tefilla at all, or at least without any bit of kavana.
With this new understanding and appreciation of Aleinu, I now try to view this tefilla as a beginning rather than an ending.