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Questions tagged [kavana-concentration]

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34
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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 ...
28
votes
5answers
526 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?
14
votes
2answers
260 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
271 views

How can I find meaning in saying selichot?

I have always had a problem connecting with the selichot. In my shul they are said in a very rushed, impassionate fashion, mainly due to the need for people to get to work. I don't understand most of ...
13
votes
2answers
399 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 ...
12
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3answers
299 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?
12
votes
6answers
853 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 ...
11
votes
11answers
733 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
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2answers
873 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
132 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
3answers
176 views

Holding a child during bentching,kiddush,havdallah

Is there any reason to say that its problematic to hold a child during bentching and so on... because one is thinking about not dropping what he is holding,like by Shmoneh Esrei (96:1) one should not ...
8
votes
3answers
232 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
300 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
432 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
276 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
3answers
383 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'...
7
votes
1answer
465 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
243 views

Why does the mitzvah of Sukkah have a stated meaning that its practitioner must have in mind?

The pasuk states (Vayikra 23:43): לְמַעַן, יֵדְעוּ דֹרֹתֵיכֶם, כִּי בַסֻּכּוֹת הוֹשַׁבְתִּי אֶת-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, בְּהוֹצִיאִי אוֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם in order that your [ensuing] ...
7
votes
1answer
564 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
1answer
90 views

Source that “Yehi Khevod” should be said with special intensity

Some editions of the ArtScroll siddur have the following instruction before Yehi Khevod (in pesukei dezimra): The following prayer should be recited with special intensity. What is the source for ...
7
votes
1answer
137 views

What is the correct kavanah when going to war?

I am specifically talking about going to war that is a mitzvah such as the wars fought while conquering Eretz Yisroel in the beginning of the Neviim and the mitzvah we have and will fulfill of ...
7
votes
2answers
225 views

Inappropriate kavanah during “asher yatzar”

I don't know if other people have experienced this, but when reciting "asher yatzar" immediately after going to the bathroom, I find that if I meditate upon the meaning of the words I cannot help but ...
7
votes
3answers
184 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
286 views

What is the difference between תקיף and בעל היכולת and בעל הכוחות כולם?

The Shulchan Aruch says: ובהזכירו אלהים, יכוין שהוא תקיף, בעל היכולת ובעל הכֹחות כֻּלם When saying G-d's name אלוקים one should have in mind that G-d is תקיף, בעל היכולת, ובעל הכחות כולם. These ...
6
votes
5answers
943 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
2answers
165 views

What are the Levels of Kavanah?

In Rabbi Donin's book, To Pray As A Jew, he says that reading a prayer book to find out what it says, or to relish its beauty of poetry, does not qualify as prayer. He says that to transform reading ...
6
votes
1answer
280 views

Using a Fidget Spinner During Davening

In Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 96) it is stated that one is not allowed to hold any object while davening because it will worry him that it may fall and take away from his kavana. However one is ...
6
votes
2answers
223 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 ...
6
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3answers
150 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. ...
6
votes
2answers
153 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
97 views

ADD and kavana in tefilla [duplicate]

I want to davven- but my mind goes elsewhere. Any advice for girls/women like me with ADD? Can I talk to Hashem straight? although I know the meaning of the words and am fluent in reading I cant ...
5
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0answers
25 views

How does one “keep something in mind”?

On my way in to shul, I was stopped by the rabbi. He told me that so-and-so was unavoidably detained and would not be able to say kaddish for his father-in-law. He gave me the deceased's name and ...
5
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0answers
147 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
126 views

How can I stop spacing out during davening? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do you improve your Kavvanah [concentration]? Any suggestions for improving concentration or advice on how to avoid daydreaming during tefilah?
5
votes
2answers
422 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
205 views

“Think about love for fellow Jews before praying” - source?

At the risk of being a guessing-game, I thought I had read that before starting prayers (the beginning? The Amida?), one should take a minute to think about the mitzvah to have love for fellow Jews. ...
4
votes
3answers
682 views

Pesukim/Sayings/Thoughts for Hizuk

I have a new philosophy (of course Beli Neder): never Daven before you have Hizuk. Now, sometimes I like to sing a Niggun (Shifchi by Reb Shlomo) or say some Bakashot (specifically Agadelcha by Iben ...
4
votes
3answers
408 views

What should I think about when reciting this blessing?

In the birchot hashachar we say every day, we recite a number of blessings to thank G-d for different things. I like to think about how grateful I am to G-d for every specific thing each blessing ...
4
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3answers
234 views

What kavanah should you have during *Atah Kadosh*?

The third blessing of the amidah, Atah Kadosh, seems mysterious to me: You are holy and your name is holy, and the holy ones bless you all day. Blessed are you Hashem, the Holy God. Is there any ...
4
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2answers
345 views

Walking in front of someone saying kaddish

I have heard that in addition to the prohibition of passing in front of someone who is davening shemoneh esrei, it is also forbidden (or at least improper) to walk in front of someone who is saying ...
4
votes
2answers
100 views

Is having kavanah me'akev in the verse "Hashem sifatay tiftach ufi yagid tehilatecha?

One must have kavanah (intent/concentration) in the first bracha of Shemoneh Esrei. And if he didn't, he would have to repeat it. See the g'mara in B'rachos 34b: איכא דמתני לה אברייתא: המתפלל צריך ...
4
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2answers
70 views

What should I think of when reciting Birkot HaShachar?

Many of the prayers of the Birkot HaShachar are in third person. Such as: "...who opens the eyes of the blind." Or "...who frees the captive." I've always thought about personally thanking G-d (for ...
4
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0answers
84 views

Are there circumstances when one should repeat a prayer in which he had no kavana the first time?

Halichipedia writes One should have kavana (proper concentration) when praying Shemonah Esrei. If one is unable to have kavana for all of Shemonah Esrei one should make an extra effort to have ...
4
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0answers
165 views

Should I go to synagogue when I can't focus?

If I am too ill/stressed to be able to concentrate on worshipping G-d, should I still go to synagogue? Is there an official ruling on this? I'm worried that I might be disrespecting G-d by going.
3
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1answer
67 views

Ashrei and Repetition of a posuk

I have heard that the only posuk in ashrei which requires repetition if one did not have kavanah when saying it is פותח את ידךָ. Where is the source for that?
3
votes
2answers
118 views

May one say a prayer while driving?

In the vein of this question How to say Tefilas HaDerech while on the road alone -- I am wondering whether it is appropriate to say a prayer or make a brocha while concurrently operating a car. ...
3
votes
4answers
213 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
164 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'...
3
votes
2answers
91 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
125 views

swaying and bowing

In the Aryeh Kaplan Reader (page 192) Rabbi Kaplan zt"l says, "Many people - during Shemonah Esrei - have the habit of swaying and bowing. However, the Shelah HaKadosh writes, such movements may ...