Anything about JUDAISM
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bored613 Posted - 18 May 2007 0:23
When I daven, I daven with a lot of kavanah and get really into it. I get annoyed when people interupt my davening. The problem is that i have trouble getting started. If I'm at school, or i have to daven with a minyan at a set time for some other reason, then I daven wonderfully, but if I'm at home, or somewhere were there is something else i could be doing, I find that i just don't daven. How can I get myself to daven when i know i should, but just don't feel like it.
I've tried telling myself that the only things im allowed to do for a certain time every morning is daven or clean my room (which i would never actually do), but i find that i just don't do it. I do whatever i feel like, and then later i feel guilty that i didnt daven
What can i do
sweetheart Posted - 18 May 2007 3:19
i no how u feel, i feel da same! i can't make myelf daven - i always come up with excuses to do other things instead. then i feel bad... any ideas?
taon Posted - 18 May 2007 12:45
read these threads, ad the ones in the articles section. plenty of motivation.


the FAQ section

Forlorn Posted - 13 December 2007 20:54
I didnt daven for a while, i spoke to Hashem all day long but literall could not get mself to daven. Then i started with brachos every morning, no matter what just say brachos, nothing else, with kavana without kavana doesnt matter just say it...mamash for months i said brachos every morning usually speeding fast and with no kavana because even thoguh i usually do have kavana i wasnt in the mood to daven. I felt liek it was pointless Hashem doesnt want my shvach little brachos when i really have a shiyuv to daven everything and with kavana, but one morning i was so in the mood that when i said brachos they were with such intense kavana that i was crying while i said them. then i knew i was ready, i added shema, every day for months jsut brachos and shema no matter what modo i was in, no matter what time, even if i got up at 2 pm or i forgot and didnt say it till 7pm i just kept going for half a year, then i add shmone esrei, and im still on that, no matter what say those things, i figure after im in the habit of davening, ill work on kavana and then maybe add more, btu i cannot tell you how amazing it is to have not been davening but now everyday i davened and although its not perfect its where im at. i highly recomend this method, jsut say it might take years but i will one day daven with kavana every morning iyH
panimyafos Posted - 14 December 2007 0:52
Wow Forlorn. Thank you for that.
I think I'll take a leaf out of your book and follow your advice, if you don't mind. Tefillah used to be "my" thing, but then I somehow lost it, and it frustrates (right word?) me to no end that I haven't been able to get it back. Your first two sentences really struck me.
Thanks. Just for that: ((((((Forlorn))))))
Forlorn Posted - 14 December 2007 17:43
thank you panimyafos, i needed that...the truth is that everyone sort of always assumes that everyone davens if theyre frum, and im like known to be a frum aidel girl so its not like im going to clarify peoples misconceptions in assuming that i daven so this was really an on my own thing but sometimes its nice to get encouragement approval and feedback just to give myself motivation to continue.
panimyafos Posted - 14 December 2007 18:52
You're welcome. I think we both gained from this then... Thanks again.
bored613 Posted - 29 January 2008 15:16
wow forlorn, thanks for your advice. I started making sure i say the very basics every morning, and hopefully as time goes on i'll be able to keep adding more easily
workingongrowing Posted - 12 March 2009 12:13
wow this is the first time i'm viewing this website, and I'm in awe... I had no clue that teens like me had such similar issues as mine. I'm am also viewed as a frum aidel girl and I'm respected by most of my friends and teachers but I feel so guilty that they think i'm so perfect cuz I'm so not! Tefilla is something that didn't come easily for me, and then I discovered it's powers this past summer and looked forward to davening and loved standing before hakadosh baruch Hu, but over time I was feeling like Hashem was bored of my tefillos and I felt silly for asking for the same things everyday... I know it's not true but somehow my tefillos slowly lost intensity and then it got worse and worse and I can hardly daven on my own at all. In school it's not a problem but at home on a sunday... it's so difficult! The most frustrating part is that I was once able to daven with so much kavana and now I lost that special feeling...
leavingandlooking Posted - 06 May 2009 17:27
that happens sometimes. dont try for exactly as things were before, just try to get back up there at the right pace.
roch Posted - 29 June 2009 20:33
i have the same problem! it used to be that i would daven amazing, but then, i just lost and the, i get really into it, but im only able to daven shmone esrei with kavana. its summer now and i never daven and i feel so guilty, but i just dont have the time. im gonna try to start saying brachos every morning. thnx for the advice!!
liferox Posted - 15 July 2009 16:52
k guyz i have the same problem i either just push off davening or find an excuse not to daven at all but for some reason i feel more guilty davening so little like just brachos because sometimes i do daven the full davening... is it more important to daven a little every day or the whole tefillah sometimes? i mean really i know that i should be davening wtvr i can every day but then ill just push it off or something the problem is that i feel so bad cuz i used to daven every day w major kavanah... what should i do?
life is strawberrylicious Posted - 20 July 2009 16:27
hi all! ok i hav an idea: if s/o cud briefly type up the main reasons for y we shud daven-in terms of our obligation 2 (with some pesukim) and the gr8 things that come as a result of davening (for inspiration)- then that mite help. Cuz then we cud put the list with these pointers in2 our siddurim and it'll remind us of the significance of davening so that it'll b harder to dismiss or push off for later! so...any takers? thanx!
taon Posted - 12 August 2009 18:07
Im back for alittle while, I can try to collect it.

May the Geulah have come before this post goes up.

questions? go here:

josh1 Posted - 07 September 2009 0:51
I would say that you should say the important stuff with kavana instead of trying to say it all, but you should ask a rabbi.
taon Posted - 07 September 2009 1:12
I donít know how good this is...I tried to collect what information I could in the time I had. Mostly from Frumteens, some from other places. What I took from this site, I didnít have time to rewrite all of it, much of it particularly in the first section, I ended up just copying, sorry I cant remember who posted what. I guess you can search for the text. Iím sorry this isnít that well organized. Hope it helps.

I. Obligations and Reasons

"It is a mitzvah Min HaTorah to daven every day, as it is written, 'And you shall worship Hashem your G-d.'" etc. - Rambam Hilchos Tefillah

We also see davening in the Torah, and a hinting at the need for a minyan, as brought down By Ibn Ezra and Targum Yonason, is Hashem said if there were 10 tzaddikim in sodom, He wouldn't destroy it.

See Shulchan Aruch and Mishnah Brurah Siman Aleph, Siman Tzadim, and other places for sources of the Halacha of Davening.

If you canít daven with a minyan, at least daven when a minyan is davening (does anyone know the source for this? I heard it a long time ago, I think itís from Gemarah)

Davening is a form of histaldus, just like going to a doctor. Just as anything you do. Itís ultimately decided by Hashem, yes, but you still need to do something.

In the Bais Hamikdosh the Kohanim would sacrifice korbanos and they would put wood on the mizbe'ach to burn...but if Hashem sent down fire from shomayim then why did they need the wood? The answer is, she explained, that yes, Hashem could send down a fire and-poof!-the korban would be consumed, but Hashem wants our hishtadlus. Hashem wants us to put on the wood before He sends the fire down. Hashem wants our tefillos, and our tefillos are precious to Him.

It says in the Shulchan Aruch it is better to Daven a little with kavana than a lot with none. This doesnít mean to not daven (although if the situation is so extreme you donít daven, see a Rav about if you can skip), but concentrate first on the parts you are more obligated to say, then work on other parts.

Another striking medrash says ďHKĒBH mitaveh lítefilasan shel tzaddikimĒ--Hashem CRAVES the tefillos of tzaddikim. So really Hashem gives us hardships and troubles, he gives us terrible nisyonos that seem insurmountable BECAUSE He wants us to daven. Not the other way around. So when people feel that theyíve hit rock bottom, and theyíre crying because theyíre lonely. This is true pain and loneliness that makes a person feel like the seat of their emotion is just a punching bag for the yetzer harah, thatís when we have to daven. Thatís the tachlis of Hashem giving us this feeling, and this is what we have to do with it.

1) Davening brings us closer to Hashem even we are not answered.

2) Davening itself makes us more worthy to be answered.

3) You never know who is worthy of being answered and who is not.

4) No sincere prayer goes unanswered. When we say it goes unanswered, what we mean is, you wont get what you want. But G-d will do something for someone because of your prayers.

The way it works is NOT that Hashem gives you what's best for you, but if you daven He gives you more. Rather, Hashem prepares what's best for you, and if you ask for it, He will give it to you.

In other words, the way of nature for Hashem to provide for you what is best for you is for you to Daven and ask Him for it. Then He gives it to you.

Davening shows your emunah that Hashem can provide you with this.

The reason Chazal made you pray for the things in Shemona Esray is because you need them. Everyone does. And the Anshei Kneses HaGedolah used their Ruach HaKodesh to say things in the most powerfully holy manner. In a way that it is most likely to be accepted.

The compilers of the Siddur were possessors of Ruach HaKodesh, and very, very holy men, and they knew precisely the best way to get Hashem to answer our prayers in the most beenficial manner. On Rosh Hashanah we blow the Shofar to invoke the memory of the Akeidah, for instance. But the Akeidah is not the only invocation possible, and the Anshei kneses Hagedolah put together the best possible combinations of words and pesukim to maximize our chances of getting our tefilos accepted.

Prayer is nt just "asking" Hashem for things. it is connecting to Him in a way that His sustenance flows into this world in precisely the way that we desire. You can only make this happen because you have a soul that is able to connect to Hashem. You pray with your soul, not just with your words. And unfortunately we don't know too much about how our soul communicates with Hashem -- but Chazal did. So they told us the best way to do it.

A lot of Davening also has to do with who you are. Each Shevet (tribe) has another "pathway" though which they are capable of drawing down Hashem's sustenance to the world. One tribe cannot use the conduit of the other; it just won't work.

there's a lot more to Davening than just letting Hashem know what you want. Talking to Hashem is not the same as talking to a human being. It is a spiritual process that invovles connecting your soul to the Source of sustenance of the world. Chazal taught us how to do that.

We pray not only for the purpose of communicating with Hashem. Tefilah also has an effect on us. It sanctifies us by making us closer to Hashem.

Humans are comprised of both physical and spirtual components, and it's not so easy to sanctify both of them at the same time, since what affects a physical thing won't affect a spiritual thing and vice versa.

So Hashem created a system of Mitzvos that invovles (1) thought - Kavanah, (2) action - Maaseh, and (3) speech - Dibur.

The thought componenets of our Mitzvos affect the Neshoma, since both thought and Neshoma are spiritual. Actions affect the body - they are both physical, and speech affects your Ruach (spirit) since they are both in between.

Tefilah was designed to comprise both thought (Kavanah), speech (the words) and action (bowing and standing etc.). Each one of these components functions on its own and impacts on a different part of us. And each one, in order to properly affect us, has to be done according to the instructions of Hilchos Tefilah.

So yes, it's true that Hashem knows what we haad intended to say. But if we don't say it, the "speech" component of our Tefilah is still deficient, even though the "kavanah" part may still be intact. And

(Most of this from Rí Moderator)

II. Motivation and tips (just general motivation, not for specific issues)

During the day thank Hashem out loud, or at least keep a list of just a few things Hashem has done for you. Think about these before Davening.
Rabbi Miller ztĒl, and Iíve seen similar elsewhere says to think of something youíre thankful for, and thank Hashem, when bowing at the beginning of Shemoneh Esrei and Modim

When a crisis happens, itís a wake up call, a reminder to daven. Think of those times when you donít really need something as badly.

If you have ever been hiking and you lose your footing, you might suddenly find yourself sliding down the side of the mountain. Now some people in that situation will just lie there limply and think to themselves "I'm sliding down the side of the mountain! I'm going to have to climb all the way back up!" And sure enough when they hit bottom, that's exactly what they do - they have to climb all the way back up to get back to where they were.

There are however, people who stick out there feet and grab with their hands to slow down and stop they're descent. They won't fall so far, and it will be easier for them to regain the levels they lost.
You have to focus on one idea - you ENJOY davening. It is a positive force in your life. Forget that you have to, or that you're being an ingrate. It is a positive and enjoyable experience, something that you want to do.

If you donít have kavana, donít get upset with yourself, that just distracts you further. Just refocus yourself. Donít try to be perfect, just keep going at it again and again

Donít forget, you can daven for help with davening!

Try davening outside (see related halachos

Itís not recommended, but as a temporary meausure if its necessary it is okay

Shulchan Aruch suggests davening in a room with a window, not one where you may see someone untznius, then itís forbidden to daven facing that way, or where there is something distracting. Just a window, preferbably facing east. When loosing concentration, look at the sky and think of Hakadosh Bruch Hu

Imagine, because in a figurative sense it is true, that there is a vertical pipe connecting you with Hashem, and your tefillos go through it. No holes or obstructions.

when a person gets up to daven, it's as if HaKadosh Baruch Hu "shushes," so to speak, all of the malachim who are singing shira, and it's as if He says, "ya'amod _____." And everyone and everything is quiet, just listening to *you.*

Touched by a prayer says something like this(forgive me if i am a little bit wrong,but it's just the point)imagine being in Yerushalayim as you are davening, when u say brachos you are on a mountain facing the Beis Hamikdash, you are thinking that you are so close to the Beis Hamikdash(just a few more steps you can do it!) as you continue davening saying pesukei dzimra(you are getting closer you are now in the first room of the Beis Hamikdash as time goes by when you are in shemoneh esrei you have reached the Kodesh Hakadoshim, Holy of holies, can u imagine??(this only works if you have kavanah while davening i think) no one can go into the Kodesh Hakadoshim (besides for yom kippur) and every day if u can reach that level you are in there!!! over the last few days i have been imagining this as i daven and it has really been helping me! just think that today if you have kavanah you iwll be in a place that no one can go, you are so close to Hashem and the more kavanh the closer you can get. I wish you alot of Hatzlacha and I hope that Bezras Hashem you will be in that Kodesh Hakadoshem very soon!!

Before each Tefillah, think about what you are about to say

the sforno (and the sechel, but thats besides the point) says that if a person has too little strenght to concentrate or tiem, he should know that quality in tefila matters more than quantity, and rather skip a lot of things and say one-two things with kavana, again, if u dont have strength or time.
R' Shimshon Pinkus talks about saving ur kavana for amida- DONT DO IT. it is a trick of the yetzer hara that i think like, everyone falls for. if u know it is a trick maybe u wont fall for it. If you want to have kavana, GRAB THE MOMENT. GRAB IT.If that means ur amida is going to go down the tubes, do it anyway, bec its better to have one then none. dont wait for the amida. or else just say like ashrei shema and go straight to amida. but WHENEVER u feel like u can or u want to, concentrate, even though u feel like "saving it for later" because when later comes....

The following is from Rasisei Layla of Rav Tzadok (#26):

Between two wise men, he who has more wisdom is considered the superior of the two. Not so with regard to Tefilah. There, the opposite is true - whoever is more lacking and has more needs, is able to achieve more with his Tefilah, since his Tefilah comes from a deeper place in his heart.

The depth of heart and mind that produced these marvelous poems can be channeeld into your davening to achieve what many people on much higher levels than you cannot achieve. You know how to tap into the depths of the Neshama and express the deepest yearnings for the highest things. You dont even have to "tap" much - you feel those depths already!

When you daven, feel those depths, those yearnings - the same feelings that you have when you write these poems, express those feeligns to Hashem like you express them to the readers of your poems, and I promise you, your Tefilos will be strenghtened a thousandfold, and you will achive more with them than you can ever imagine!

what does this mean? we dont need anybody else 2 talk 2 our God 4 us. He has given us the amazing opportunity for tfila! we dont have 2 wait till we die 2 b face 2 face to God, we have him right here! we daven anywhere,any time, any place, any language!!!guys dont u c? tfila isnt a chore, its a gift! prayer makes u happier. God is like the ideal friend. He never leaves u 4 someone else, or puts u on hold while he answers another call. he wont ever embarrass u after u tell him something uve done, or misinterperet what u tell him. nobodys perfect. everyone sins. everyone has issues. everyone has bad days. guess what...God's out there, and he has infinite patience to listen. So please, take this present, unwrap it. open up your siddur...or just pray from your soul.

OK, first, there are two places, and sometimes three, wheree you can insert your own prayers for anything you want, in Shemona Esrai. One is in the Brachah of Shema Koleinu, right before "ki ata shomaya tefilas kol peh". Usually, there is an asterisk at that point. In the ArtScroll Sidur, therre's two little circles that refer to two possible prayers to say there that are in the footnotes on the bottom of the page. But at that point you can insert any prayer you want.

The second is at the end of "Elokai Nitzro", right before "yihiyu l'ratzon." You can insert any prayer there, too.

The third opportunity is, you can insert into any Brachah a prayer that realtes to the topic of that Brachah. Such as the prayer for sick peopel that you mentioned in Refaeinu. But because its somestimes unclear as to whether a given prayer pertains to a given Brachah, the first to choices are better.

Try to learn the menaing of what you are saying

"kol yisrael areivim zeh lazeh" our tefillos affect each other

Try getting into the right sate of mind with Jewish music (preferably in your head)

There are many mesholim and divrei torah stories about Tefillah, try reading one a day or before you daven, or from a sefer on Tefillah

When you start Shemonah Esrei, before you say the first word, imagine that you are actually standing in Shamayim in front of Hashem on the Kisei HaKavod.

That you have been granted a chance to ask Hashem personally for everything you, your parents, and the whole world needs.

That Hashem asked specifically to hear from you what those needs are.

And now, you are asking Hashem for them. You are in front of the King, Who is in charge of life and death and everything else in this world, you, "bas yisroel", talking one on one to Hashem.

Pause for 30 seconds to do this right before you bend your knees for the first "Boruch". Imagine that during those 30 seconds you're standing right at the door to Hashem's Throne Room, ready to enter. You're taking a deep breath, reviewing what you want to say. You're about to open the door, your hand is on the knob, and you say to yourself, "Bas Yisroel," you're about to go into the King and ask Him for everything. Don't blow it.

Then, when you're ready to finally open the door and face the King, bow for the first Boruch.

And keep this is mind throughout your Shemonah Esrei.

Rabbi Moshe Aaron Stern ztz"l says in sefer meish tam to keep a notebook and write in it after davening where your attention wandered off. This is to deter you from loosing attention, but some people may take it too hard on themselves

there was, in nazi-occupied poland, a system of underground learning headed by mattisyahu weiner. after the ghetto was obliterated, a diary of one of these secret bochurim was found. in it, he was writing abt how there was fire burning all around him. and he was suffering terribly and dying of starvation--he knew he wudn't live 'til tomorrow. he wondered if he shud throw himself into the fire and save himself from the last few hours of pain and absolute miserable suffering. but he didn't know if that was the ratzon Hashem.
then he thought of a story abt a marrano family that tried to keep torah 'til they were caught. then they ran away at the last moment and managed to get to a refugee camp in morocco. the conditions were terrible. their children began dying, and eventually the mother also died. the father told HKBH:
'i know that all these troubles and sufferings r a nisayon--to prove wether i still luv You and belive in You. until now, U have not broken me. i only have 2 things left--my life and my emunas Hashem and ahavas Hashem. if U want my life, U can have it. BUT IF U WANT TO TAKE AWAY MY EMUNAS HASHEM AND AHAVAS HASHEM, THESE U CAN NOT TAKE FROM ME. MY LOVE FOR U IS MINE AND MINE ALONE!"
so this bochur wrote in his dairy that at that moment he realized that these last few hours r the most important hours of his life. i have a battle w/ HKBH, and i can "win." i can prove my total and complete love for the Borei Olam, a love that i have never achieved before. wen it seems like there's no point to living nemore, that all hope is lost--THESE MAY BE THE MOST CRUCIAL MOMENTS OF YOUR LIFE--THIS IS THE TIME TO PROVE TO HASHEM THAT NO MATTER HOW TOUGH IT GETS AND NO MATTER HOW HARD HE "TRIES", HE CAN NOT TAKE AWAY THAT PURE AND BEAUTIFUL LOVE THAT A YID HAS FOR HAKADOSH BARUCH HU. U CAN NEVER MAKE ME STOP LOVING U!
all relationships need communication--that communication is tefillah. this is where we are talking to Hashem. try talking to Him like u'd talk to your best friend, tell him all your problems, complaints. a friend that u talk to every day--even if it's abt the dumbest little things is far closer than a "once-a-month" friend that u only talk abt the big things.
a relationship--a close passionate relationship w/ Hashem is the tachlis ha'chaim of every single yid. therefore, we have to establish our relationship w/ the Borei Olam thru tefillah. and within urself u can cultivate and develop this passionate love for Hashem that's ur's and ur's alone.

Even when you donít have kavana, still daven. Youíre still making a connection with Hashem and it can help you later on

try using a different siddur

pause at designated points to redirect your mind

BEFORE davening, think of an inspirational Passuk or line

think: in this bracha I will concentrate for _ amount of minutes/seconds.
and do that. dont hurry.

Think I wont be done wwithn whatever part of davening before a certain time, see what time it is in the middle of davening that. If its before then, use more kavanna

The Bal Shem Tov says sometimes Hashem will help you and make something easier for you so that you can see how good it is. Like davening with kavanah - it's so great and gives you such a good feeling when you have a really good davening, right? But that is Hashem giving you the koach to do it. Which is fine, but it is a present from Him. Then, somewhere along the way, Hashem says "now you need to do it yourself so that it will really be YOUR davening and you can get more schar for it".

during the day say mini-tefillos

there was once a chasid that also had a lot of trouble with kavanah, and he told the rebbe his problem. the rebbe told him to come back the next day. The next day, the guy came to the rebbe's house and started knocking. At first, he thought that no one was home, cuz no one was opening the door. But then he saw the rebbe standing by the window and staring at him. The chasid knocked louder and harder, but the rebbe just stared at him. The chasid was so insulted that he just to turned around to leave. When he was halfway home, One of the rebbe's messengers came after him, and told him that the rebbe wanted him. The rebbe explained that when we're davening, bad thoughts or disturbing thoughts are sent by the yetzer hora. but it's OUR choice if we want to let them in or not. That's what he was trying to show him!

Think about all the people who donít have the privilege to talk directly to Hashem, HaMelech Malachay Hamlachim.

I heard in the name of the Chofetz Chaim, though it may be from before him, a moshol: Someone was selling apples in the marketplace when a thief came along and grabbed at the fruits. A bystander told the seller not to stand by and watch what she had lost, but to grab whatever she can of what is left. The same with davening and all mitzvos. Even if you didnít have kavana through most of davening, once you realize, no matter what you are up to try to concentrate as much as you can,, grab as much as you can! Donít give up. And if you mess up again, donít despair, keep trying.

III. Recommended Reading on Tefillah

Touched By A Prayer

Rav Schwab On Tefillah

Praying With Fire

Pathway To Prayer

The Siddur 'Hasidur Hameforash'

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