12

I was a major sufferer of the problem you describe, and to be honest, I have not completely cured myself of this; however, there are a few things that I have done recently that have made a huge difference in my level of focus during davening. I think it is important to remember, though, that there is no quick fix to this challenge. As you mentioned in a ...


9

The source is Rabbeinu Yona Brachos 32a, in the name of the Geoinim. This is brought in Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 51:7 The Mishna Brurah there (:16) says it means to say from that posuk until the end of the chapter. Shulchan Aruch HaRav (51:8) implies that saying the single verse is enough. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (14:2) implies that the single verse is ...


9

Someone recently sent me a screenshot of a sefer. I have paraphrased it: Someone had apparently asked הרה״ג רבי יצחק זילברשטיין שליט״א if he is allowed to use the "spinner" during Shemona Esrei since it is hard for him to concentrate, and according to the researchers he will be more successful at concentrating during the Tefilah. רבי יצחק זילברשטיין ...


8

This is a great question that touches on an area that is so fundamental. Before mentioning any specific technique that has worked for me, I'd like to share a perspective that has significantly boosted my Tefilla. People use the expression "the elephant in the room." In Tefilla, I felt that for a long time I had been missing the "God in the room." ...


8

From dinonline.org It is permitted to repeat words of davening for added intent in prayer. However, there is a virtue of having full intent the first time, and not repeating words. One can certainly say the word, and then reflect on its meaning, without saying it again. Sources: The Mishnah (Berachos 33b) writes that one who says “modim, modim” ...


8

According to My Rav Say Elokai Neshama, Bircat HaTorah, and Bircat HaShachar Say Baruch She'Amar, Ashrei, and Yishtabach If you can put on tallit and tefillin, and say just the above passages, in the time that it takes the rest of the minyan to say all of Psukei D'Zimra, then it's better to do so, in order to pray with a minyan. This is assuming that ...


8

Kiddushin 40a מחשבה טובה מצרפה למעשה שנאמר אז נדברו יראי ה' איש אל רעהו ויקשב ה' וישמע ויכתב ספר זכרון לפניו ליראי ה' ולחושבי שמו מאי ולחושבי שמו אמר רב אסי אפילו חשב אדם לעשות מצוה ונאנס ולא עשאה מעלה עליו הכתוב כאילו עשאה Good intention is combined with deed, for it is said: Then they that feared the Lord spoke one with another: and the Lord hearkened, ...


7

I experienced a significant improvement in my focus on davening when I discovered that it is halachically preferable to omit much of davening in order to better focus on a smaller part. The Mishna Brurah (1:12; see also Aruch HaShulchan 51:9) writes : "...if a person assesses that saying more will impinge on his concentration, and he [therefore] shortens ...


7

It is not permitted to daven in front of any picture or mirror, much less a picture of Avodah Zarah. Article on this. A quote from this article: Bowing to any picture can raise the specter of avoda zara. Many poskim forbid images of animals in a shul (see above) particularly on the wall toward which people bow. It is also forbidden to daven facing a ...


7

The Rivevos Ephraim 6:410:1 brings the psak of Rav Eliyashiv that one may hold a child during bentching. In Chelek 8:572:1 he was asked to explain the psak of Rav Elyashiv how its ok since there are achronim who hold by pisukei dizimrah one cannot hold anything so certainly by a doraisa one would have to avoid such a thing. Rav Ephraim Greenblatt(Rivevos ...


6

As mentioned in the comments, the Mishnah is just talking about one who reads the megillah. Someone who is falling asleep while listening will not be able to hear every word. The Shulchan Aruch is clear on this: קראה מתנמנם, הואיל ולא נרדם בשינה, יצא. אבל אם שמעה מתנמנם, לא יצא.‏ This still doesn't answer the question of how much focus you need to be ...


6

(Assuming that finding a slower Minyan is not an option, and that you are using the Ashkenazi/Chassidich version.) Take a 2-pronged approach: Prepare Don't plan on saying it all Prepare the shortest chapter of that day; very often it's the Pizmun - the one towards the end recited by the congregation and Chazzan. Spend a few minutes before Selichot (or ...


6

Rabbi Adin Steinsalz in his Sefer Hasidur V'Hatefila - page 38 says there are three levels in Kavana. 1 - Is to understand the meaning of the words one is saying (Orach Chaim 98:1). 2 - To identify with the words being said. 3 - Understanding the hidden meaning על דרך תורת הסוד והנסתר (literally, in the way of the instruction of the secret and the hidden)....


6

The word sechvi can mean a rooster or the heart. Just as God gave the rooster an understanding of the difference between day and night, we thank Him that He gave our heart the understanding that it is time to wake up and serve Him (based on Artscroll which cites the Rosh). The Chidushei HaRim (from here) explains it as a daily reminder that, just as HaShem ...


5

I recently read an interview with a daughter of Rav Ovadia Yosef ZT"L and during the interview she mentioned that her father Rav Ovadia always held a grandchild on his lap during bentching.


4

I read the following piece of advice in a pamphlet somewhere, and I tried it and it worked for me. Concentrate on the meaning of Hashem's name whenever it comes up. You can pick whichever meaning you want for it to work, although Halacha has an opinion about which one is the main one. There are two reasons why I think it works. One is that Hashem's name ...


4

I recently tried enunciating the letter ע more while davening. This makes you go slower, at least until you get so used to it. Then, once you're going slower and paying more attention to the words, you end up having better kavanah.


4

Culled from On the Mainline and OU. The explanation you provide for shokeling is that of R’ Schwab who writes: R’ Schwab on Prayer (page 167): There are two ways in which a person can relate to Hakodosh Baruch Hu. One is through ahava (love), in which a person feels very close to Him, and the other is through yirah (awe), in which one is awestruck by ...


4

BSD Firstly I would like to preface that anything I say should be taken on case by case basis. As one who is an Orthdox Jew and has a history of dealing with medium to mild OCD, I can only provide suggestions from my own personal experience, so dont take this post as scripture. Your Question: Should we intervene with someone who has OCD. The answer is ...


4

It's important to distinguish between someone who is suffering from OCD and someone who is being religiously meticulous. Someone repeating words in prayer over and over again is not fulfilling the requirement to pray, and such a person is very likely violating the prohibition of saying G-d's name in vain. Someone who is washing over and over again is in ...


4

Introductory Note of Clarification: Parts of the answer (below) that are critical, are not directed at the questioner, but rather to some people who jump to conclusions about whether another person has (or likely has) OCD - often based on faulty premises or a lack of context concerning the other individuals behaviors or perceived behaviors: It is good that ...


4

It seems that many OCD sufferers' (regardless of what they obsess over) don't realize that they OCD'ing. They will usually give many 'excuses' and 'hidden reasons' for why it's not OCD. When someone that we care about has a problem we try to help them, but the problem gets compounded when the person doesn't even realize that anything is wrong. In this ...


4

Perhaps the fact that Teffilin, Tzitzis and Succah all share the fact that their main kiyum mitzvah is not an actual action, but rather to be in the situation of passively being involved or enveloped in the mitzvah, special attention was required so as to ensure the proper kiyum of the mitzvah. As opposed to an action mitzvah like eating matzah or shaking a ...


4

Siman 52 in Shulchan Aruch is all about the Halachos of which parts of Pesukei D'zimra to skip if one comes late to shul. From the first Mishna Berura there it is apparent that the motivation for skipping parts of Pesukei D'zimra is in deference to the value of davening Shmone Esrei together with the rest of the congregation. Being that that is the case, I ...


4

Reb Chaim Soloveitchik in his Chiddushim to the Rambam, Hilchos Tefillah 4:16, writes that there are two types of Kavana. The primary kavana is to be aware that you are standing before G-d. The second is to understand the meaning of the words.


4

I can't give any definitive halachic answer but I can say that, coincidentally, I have been learning masechet brachot and the issue of tefillat haderech is brought up on 30a. The halacha seems to hold like the opinion that says that one may say the tefilah "afilu mehalech" even while travelling (as opposed to stopping and standing on the side of the road). ...


4

The Amidah is divided up into 3 main sections. The first section, consisting of the first three berachot is called shevach (praise). The middle 13 berachot are called bakasha (request). The final 3 berachot are called hoda'ah (thanks). The beracha of ata kadosh is part of the shevach section (not the bakasha section), so if your definition of the word "...


4

Tosfot on Talmud Brachot 60b as cited on p. 102, here, says: He makes this blessing even if he did not hear the rooster because this blessing was established to acknowledge the benefit that we receive from sunlight that the rooster senses and the rooster receives a benefit from the sunlight. In other words, we receive the same benefit of sunlight that the ...


4

The answer to why the Aruch HaShulchan does this is found in Orach Chaim 112:4 and 5 which states: סימן קיב סעיף ד[עריכה] כתב הטור בסימן קי"ג בשם אחיו רבינו יחיאל, דחסידי אשכנז היו מונין כל התיבות שבכל ברכה וברכה משמונה עשרה ברכות: בברכה ראשונה ארבעים ושתים תיבות, בשניה חמשישים ואחת תיבות (זהו עם "משיב הרוח ומוריד הגשם"), בשלישית ארבע עשרה, ברביעית שבע ...


4

Birkei Yosef (OC 56:9) equates passing in front of one who is saying Kaddish with passing in front of one who is davening the Amidah. He is quoted by the Ben Ish Chai (Vayechi 1, 10), and Sha'arei Teshuvah (OC 56:1). Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Yalkut Yosef (56:9) brings this, as well as that some disagree.


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