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Kavanah in Davening

Rabbi Chaim Tabasky25 Kislev 5767
498
Question
I am having trouble with the Inyan of Kavanah in Minyanim at shuls today. For example, during Kedushah the ’Kadosh, Kadosh, Kadosh’ is said without any feeling. If we, as Orthodox Jews, would pay more attention to what we’re saying, we would be ashamed of ourselves. What does the Halachah say about this so that I can get through the Minyan with some feeling of accomplishment other than having finished the davening? It’s tough.
Answer
Kavannah in dovening is a serious issue, and often difficult to deal with. Some people are able to pray with great devotion, without paying attention to the attitudes of others. I think this is a high accomplishment, but far from the reach of most people who are severely influenced by those around us. Some suggestions: 1. Work on your own understanding of tefilah, see if there are opportunities to share insights a bout the meaning of a prayer with someone who might be influenced to daven with more understanding. 2. Speak to your Rabbi about explaining prayers, learning the halachot of dovening, and in general fostering an attitude that is condusive to better public prayer. 3. In many cases, a bit of compassion is crucial. In a community where many people have a good Jewish education yet the prayers are cold and alienated, there is good reason for dissappointment. When the level of education and practice in the community is lower, more understanding is required. I hope this is of some help.
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