Why Do We Say When We Pray, “Let My Soul be Like Dust to Everyone”?

At the conclusion of the Amidah prayer, three times a day, we say the concluding prayer of Mar the son of Ravina as found “with monor variations (Steinsalz)” in b. Berakhot 17a.

Rabbi Yissocher Frand comments on this:

Tosfos [Brochos 17a] comments on the prayer recited at the end of the Shmoneh Esrei: “My G-d, guard my tongue from evil and my lips from speaking deceitfully. To those who curse me, let my soul be silent; and let my soul be like dust to everyone.” What is the meaning of the term “let my soul be like dust to everyone?” Tosfos suggests the very idea introduced by the Medrash above: Just like dust (afar) is never destroyed and always remains, we pray that our descendants should always remain and not be destroyed.

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