Questions tagged [kavana-concentration]

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35
votes
25answers
1k views

Experience-based advice for focusing and slowing down prayers?

I tend to daven (pray) without sufficient focus and very quickly. In particular, I find that most of the time that I'm praying, my mind is on things other than the words that I'm saying. And, not that ...
8
votes
1answer
447 views

Davening in front of a picture of 'Avodah Zarah

This afternoon I found myself Davening in a classroom. It must have been a comparative cultures type of class, judging by the items that were hanging on the walls - posters and artwork and such. As I ...
11
votes
11answers
769 views

How do you improve your Kavvanah [concentration]? [duplicate]

Building on my blog post here, I ask: How do you improve your concentration when davening?
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Mundane activities on Tisha B'Av

Tisha B'Av should be spent focusing on the destruction of Jerusalem and Beit haMikdash; but is it permissible to do daily chores as well? For example, this year, Tisha B'Av is postponed one day ...
12
votes
6answers
897 views

Should I be shuckling?

I was told that shuckeling (sp?) is an indication of the love-fear relationship that we have with God. You move forward showing that you want to be close to God and then backward out of fear of his ...
7
votes
3answers
395 views

Too fast or no minyan?

Suppose the only minyan available for someone to attend is one which moves far too fast for him. Even with arriving early and starting ahead of time, he only has time to say a fraction of psukei d'...
3
votes
4answers
216 views

What advice do the sages give for improving one's concentration in prayer?

Following up on Isaac's question seeking experience-based advice to improve his prayer:, I am seeking something a bit different. I remember reading some advice on the subject given (I think) by Rav ...
2
votes
2answers
198 views

'Kavannah' of Shem Havayeh in the first line of Kriat Shma

The requirement when saying the name 'Havayeh' to have in mind both the meaning of 'adon ha-kol' and 'hayah hoveh ve-yihyhe' takes me some time: longer than almost anybody I see in shul taking to ...
5
votes
2answers
438 views

Am I yotzei in my davening if I believe that God communicated with Mohammad?

I have been reading through the various questions about Islam and its relationship to Judaism, and about the Rambam's view that Islam is a monotheistic religion and not idolatry and I am wondering: If ...
5
votes
0answers
159 views

May I daven wearing headphones?

There are many paths to concentration. I have known students who doodle because it helps them focus on a lecture more effectively. Others like to listen to music while they study either to help them ...
13
votes
2answers
403 views

Are you Yotzei Mikrah Megillah if you're spacing out?

The Mishnah in Megillah (2:2) says that one who reads the megillah while semi-asleep ('מתנמנם') is yotzei. The gemara comments (18b): מתנמנם יצא וכו': היכי דמי מתנמנם אמר רב אשי נים ולא נים תיר ...
7
votes
1answer
506 views

Repeating words in prayer

If I have a lapse in concentration during a few words in davening, it improves my davening tremendously to be able to go back and force myself to immediately say those words again, properly. I find ...
6
votes
2answers
225 views

Sh'ma aloud but amida quietly

Shulchan Aruch Orach Chayim 61:4: We are accustomed to reading the first verse [of "Sh'ma"] in a loud voice in order to arouse the direction [of our thoughts]. SA OC 101:2: But he should not ...
2
votes
2answers
207 views

What kavanos should one have when sharpening a challa knife Erev Shabbos?

What are some kavanos should one have in mind when sharpening a challa knife on Erev Shabbos? I'm sure I heard that there are kavanos but never learned what they are.
0
votes
2answers
137 views

Correct kavanah in certain words in the first bracha of shemoneh esrei

When one desires to concentrate on every word of the first bracha of Shemoneh Esrei, as required, in order to fulfil the obligation of daily prayer, when he gets to the words "magen Avraham," should ...
28
votes
5answers
539 views

Glasses and Shema

The Shulhan Aruch records the custom of placing one's hand over his eyes in Shema in order to increase concentration. What about someone who wears glasses? Must he move them or remove them?
8
votes
3answers
243 views

How to inspire tears in davening?

Rebbe Nachman said that it is especially powerful to allow tears to flow during the Amidah. How does one come to tears? What thoughts should one have while davening to allow tears to flow in order to ...
8
votes
1answer
298 views

What to think about during each shofar sound

There are all kinds of meanings traditionally associated with the shofar blowing, as well as with each of its individual sounds. During the Rosh Hashana service, we have many sets of repetitions of ...
7
votes
1answer
574 views

Keeping in mind the meaning of every word of prayer, vs. being mindful of general concepts

If I were to sit down with my prayer book, I could translate it. I know what the words mean, and I know what they are saying conceptually. However, when I'm praying, if I try to translate in my head ...
7
votes
3answers
188 views

Prayer with Negative Kavvanah

The status of prayer without Kavannah I think has been dealt with. My question is negative kavannah. Examples of Negative Kavannah are: "I don't want to pray but it wont look good ( or I'll get ...
3
votes
1answer
175 views

Why does the Oruch HaShulchan tell the number of words in the blessings of the Amidah?

The Oruch HaShulchan (eg here) mentions how many words there are in each of the blessings of the weekday Amidah and gives a reason why that number of words is used. For example for the blessing of T'...
14
votes
2answers
272 views

How do I say vidui in Selichos in a meaningful way?

We say vidui three times in selichos. Many words are uttered in a relatively short time. How can we do this in a meaningful way that is not "vidui peh"? I have heard tell of one of the gedolei ...
12
votes
3answers
302 views

Finding the quiet section of the synagogue

When you enter an unfamiliar synagogue, how do you find a seat in a section that's likely to have the least talking?
9
votes
2answers
137 views

Properly focusing attention on Hashem

Recently I've been travelling to places, where I couldn't daven minchah in a synagogue, and in many cases I couldn't determine where mizrach was. In another question we saw that, based on Berakhot 30a,...
8
votes
1answer
315 views

Is there any reward for the intent or attempt to do a mitzvah?

As per the title, does one earn any reward/s'char for the attempt (or even just the intent) to perform a mitzvah? This evening, we all piled out of shul to say Kiddush Levana only to find that the ...
6
votes
2answers
156 views

“Hit him with a hammer until he pays attention!” Literally?

Abaye makes a rather harsh judgment on someone who is unattentive in prayer (Ber. 34a): Hit him with a hammer until he pays attention! Is this meant to be taken as Halachah? Or is it just meant to ...
6
votes
5answers
991 views

May we intervene with Religious OCD sufferers?

On what level may we (or may we not) intervene with OCD sufferers when they are not related to you in any way? I am referring to a sizable demographic of religious OCD sufferers, who don't ...
6
votes
3answers
152 views

Barchu or Kavana

If you are late to Maariv and miss barchu and you normally daven slowly should you... Daven faster, even if it means saying the words with little to no Kavana so that you can say Barchu at the end. ...
3
votes
4answers
152 views

What does אדון הכל mean?

The Shulchan Aruch says that when saying G-d's name אד-ני one should have in mind that G-d is אדון הכל, master of all. What does this mean? Does it mean G-d controls everything? I don't think so, ...
3
votes
2answers
95 views

Spiritual Boredom

Because of all the routines, standard prayers, repeating cycles etc, someone told me that going to the synagogue became quite boring for him. He still saw the value of those things, but he didn’t ...
1
vote
5answers
385 views

What makes prayer take so long?

I have noticed that some people take a lot longer to pray than others. I was wondering what exactly adds to this length? I do understand it's probably thinking of the meaning of the words etc. but ...