Need help with kavana

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    I want to work on my kavana in davening..anybody have any good ideas how i can do this? I often find myself rushing through davening and it really bothers me!


    Why does it bother you?

    Maybe think about that, and that will help.


    Look in and think about the meaning of the words.


    I used to be the same. ????? ????? ???? ?? ????. It really takes a lot of effort and work. Read books, listen to shiurim etc. But what really changed me, was that I suffered. I came to realize that He is the only One, and that EVERYTHING is up to Him. Hatzlacha!


    female or male??


    deiyezooger; female it is!!


    My rebbi once told me the following about hachanos: they aren’t only for before davening. They’re to help you focus properly and whenever you feel the need to focus, stop gather yourself and continue. Personally I use a picture to focus on in my mind.


    ItcheSrulik: what do u mean a picture?


    Since a female has no chiyov to actuly daven, if you have a hard time concentrating than maybe try to talk to hashem in your own words.


    Rancher: I once saw a very good painting of the kohen gadol walking between the two curtains in Bayis Sheni on Yom Kippur. I can remember how his face looked in the painting and it helps me focus.

    deiyezooger: A female has a chiyuv to daven. It is following nussach and zman that she doesn’t have to do.


    aha i hear i always do that but if i only did that and did not daven it would make me feel very empty…And many people dont know this but women do have a chiyuv to daven at least once a day!!


    “deiyezooger: A female has a chiyuv to daven. It is following nussach and zman that she doesn’t have to do.”

    Thats true but does not invalidate my point.


    Women do have a chiyuv to daven but according to many opinions you do not have to follow nusach and according to all opinions you do not have to make the zman.


    so far no one seems to be coming up with good advice for me…ne one???


    maybe one should go to KAVANA classes. how does that sound??????


    as i much as i read about strengthing my kavana/tifeela or listen or go to shiurim…when i get up there to daven other things distract me (like getting out of the house and starting my day)…and speed up my davening…it really really bothers me…i need to chance this faulty part of me… pls someone help!! 🙁


    It seems true that the times we have the most kavana is when we are davening from serious tzures. So maybe when we struggle with kavana we just haven’t personalized the davening so that it is meaningful. Maybe translating the words of tefilla into personal experience would help.


    ezrat hashem- what do u mean?


    Kavanah comes from understanding what you are saying. If you don’t understand what you are saying how can you mean it? When I speak to people I tell them say what you mean and mean what you say. But if you are not speaking in your common language then how can you mean what you say? Only if you fully understand what you are saying can you really mean it. Therefore get yourself a transliterate siddur so you can check the meaning of the words you don’t understand. Each time you daven you will have more of an understanding of what you are saying and you will find yourself having more kavanah the next time you daven, and each time thereafter.

    You will also find that you have favorite teffilos because some teffilos will touch your soul more than others.


    For example, in Shmona Esrei we say umatir assurim; it can be either an abstract idea, or you can think specifically about those you know or know of, in captivity, especially if you have taken their plight to heart. Probably every pasuk has the potential to evoke some personal connection in order to make the davening more urgent and feel more purposeful.



    are you a Talmid of Rabbi Avigdor Miller,tz’l ?


    And I once heard that tzaros are sometimes in place, to cause one to daven and connect to HaShem better. Tzaros are for Tefilah, not Tefilah for Tzaros.


    Sorry, no.


    All the ideas mentioned should help.

    (like getting out of the house and starting my day)

    In regurd to this issue, the halocha is ??? ??? ?????? ?????? ??? ??? ?????? it’s prefferable less with kavonah, than a lot without. Sometimes we would like to Daven the whole Davening, including Ketores etc, but we have to get to work etc. Then its important to know this halocha. When we Daven very quick, or we’re clock watching, its very very difficult to concentrate. Or we feel bad for not being able to Daven evrything.

    Daven less, but with emotion!

    There are people who never daven the whole Davening, as they daven slow..

    Just a thought


    Begin to learn a tefillah book. If you make an effort to change your davening, Hashem will help you with the rest. (This worked for me).


    Also, waking up early and setting 45 minutes each day devoted ONLY to davening. No appointments, no chores, no job – just davening.


    Before davening spend a few minutes contemplating who you are davening to.

    Learn the translation of the words, so that you understand what you are saying as you say it.

    In the first bracha of Shemonah Esrei, think about the translation of each word before you say it. Especially with Hashem’s names. Having kavanah extra kavanah in the first bracha of Shemoneh Esrei goes a long way towards elevating the level of kavanah in the rest of Shemoneh Esrei.


    Jolly- It is very admirable that you want to work on this-everybody needs to work on their kavanah, and it is always something that everybody could do better. There are many known paths to improving kavanah, so let us know a little more about what works and doesn’t work for you –

    All the suggestions here are excellent –

    If you are distracted because you have to run to work or stuff, then get up earlier so that you can daven with nothing on your mind. Take a minute before you daven to realize that this is the most important thing you have to do, as it is the time to connect with the One who will control everything that happens to you that day. Daven for everybody so that your tefillos will be personalized, and if you daven for someone else, your tefillos get answered. Daven before you have a tzara, so that you can avoid the tzara. Visualize… Picture the malachim coming to take your tefillah, and be realistic about how careful you would be to send a present to a king…picture them scorning your hurried contribution. Picture being in the position that the bnei yisroel were in, at krias yam suf, and try to sing the praise as though it happened to you-when you were totally surrounded by terror, and you got saved in a most miraculous way

    let Modim be a list of reasons that you have to thank Hashem, When you say Gomel Hasadim, think of all the chesed Hashem does with you, beg Hashem for refuous and yeshuous for all the sick people, all the people who have no parnassah, and have to leave their homes to go collecting, all the singles who have not found their zivug, all the couples who need children, people who suffer with sick spouses and children-there is so much heartbreak, these people bawl to Hashem, help them.

    Read Praying with Fire I and II and other books about having more kavanah, Listen to Chazak Shiurim 718 258 2008, many many hints and tips for better kavanah. Hatzlocha Rabba.


    Use a sidder with interlinear translation. Reading the english while saying the hebrew is certain to help with kavana.


    Praying with Fire can really made a difference in anyone’s davening.


    Here’s a thought that helps me:

    On r”h there seems to be no trouble having kavanah, because a person recognizes that his entire year is hanging in the balance. Well, every morning when a person davens he/she can have in mind that the entire day is hanging in the balance-we’ve all had our better days and our worse days. Will today be a day of frustration, humiliation, disappointment etc. or will it be a successfull day, the type of day where everything just seems to fall into place. A little investment in teffilah can make all the difference.

    Also, tefillah is not just asking H-shem to give and give, but rather it is designed to forge a bond with H-shem. The emaos were akoros, because hkb”h wanted their teffilos. Davening to H-shem with betochon that the tefillos are heard and with the understanding and appreciation that everything comes from above brings tremendous closeness between us and our Creator.


    I’ve been lurking around the CR for almost a year but have never posted. When I read this thread I just could not resist. I could not believe that nobody mentioned Shiarim B’tefilla. R’ Shimshon Dovid Pincus z’tzl wrote an incredible sefer called Shiarim B’tefilla, after learning this sefer your tefilla will never be the same. It is in Hebrew, but its really not difficult, and if you get stuck , you can always pull out a Hebrew English dictionary. I’ve learned this with friends many times, and I gain more and more every time. Hatzlocha, may you have much siyata dishmaya!


    seeallsides- thank you so much for the good advice really appreciate it!

    Chiuch Katan Vhakol Mistader Member- Believe it or not i have learned Shiurim Btfeela before and i have tapes of the shiurim i went to on that sefer and i listen to them once in a while.. it really helps me but still feel its not enough!!


    JOLLY RANCHER- WOW!It looks like your really making a solid effort to work on you kavanah, I’m sure that just by your strong desire to make an improvement H’KBH will help you and you will be matzliach. Just a few tips that I know work for me, not that I am an expert on this, very far from it, this is something that I am also constantly working on.

    I find that when I make a set amount of time for davening, and by not allowing myself to do ANYTHING until I daven, my kavanah is automatically much better.This is because once I do one thing, more and more things come up, and then I have less time and my kavanah is therefore affected due to time constraints.

    I also find that stopping for a minute before davening to think about it( like seeallsides said) and realizing what a privilege I have to be able to daven to H”KBH,and how lucky I am to have a private audience with our Father and King in Heaven, makes all the difference for me, for sometimes we forget that Tefillah is much more a privilege then a responsibility! Hatzlocha again!


    I didn’t read all the above posts so I hope this hasn’t been said yet.

    I think that we sometimes we get so caught up in the idea that “davening is for us” that we forget that this doesn’t mean that we should be at total liberty to decide whether we want to do this good thing or not.

    Think for a moment before you start to daven about how much you appreciate everything Hashem did and does for you all the time. Take a minute to reflect over and remember how much you owe Him and how much a part of your life He really is, even when you’re not paying attention. He has kept you alive until now, he provides for you, He has given you a loving family… for everyone it is different, and we all have millions and millions of things to thank Him for. Just think about a few of those things, or one or two or three broad categories, and then start to daven. This helps me sometimes when I need to just try to pay attention. It helps me realize that I owe Him so much so the LEAST I can do is give Him a good davening, and show Him that I do know it’s all from Him.

    It’s a real avoda though, good luck.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    Two things which I haven’t noticed being mentioned (although I only skimmed so I might have missed):

    1) Pathway to Prayer by Rabbi Mayer Birnbaum (the original, in Lashon Hakodesh, is called Avodas Hat’fillah). This is a clear translation/explanation which can either be used before or during davening.

    2) Studying carefully the halachos of tefillah. Although they’re different for women tan for men, there are chiyuvim for women as well, besides which, studying the halachos is a tremendous help for any struggle with one’s yetzer hara, regardless of what the particular halachos are.



    Chiuch Katan Vhakol Mistader- thanks so much for your kind advice i will iyh try your little tricks and see how they work out

    If any one else has any other tips please feel free to share..The more the merrier!! 🙂


    i’ve sometimes found picturing the kotel in front of me helps, and the linear siddur really helps.

    a mamin

    WOW!!! This has been one of the most inspiring threads I ever read in the CR. Tizku Lemitzvos to each and every one of you who contributed!!! May Hakadush Baruch Hu answer all our tefillos letovah!!


    i can say that in 12th grade and that year in camp i cried to hashem every time i davened!

    when i started working i totally lost it!

    my shmoneh esray takes 3 minutes instead of the 15 it used to!!

    it scares me!!


    Hakol Tov: I have to work on it everyday, too. It doesn’t come naturally. Sometimes I find it so hard to concentrate, while at other times, it takes me 10-15 minutes to finish the shemonei esrei. I find that if I cry to Hashem and daven with kavana, the entire day is different. I feel so relieved and uplifted. When I feel that I lost it, I think of what I have to thank Hashem for and how much I’m depending on Him. May He answer our tefillos bekarov!


    HAKOL TOV- you should just know that there ae a lot of people out there that are like this too… you are not the only one.. sometimes tha happens to me too… thats why im really trying to work on my tifella!!! We can work on it together??!!!!


    i am trying very hard but its not ez!!


    HAKOL TOV- if it makes you feel better “We are all in this together”


    Try taking a part of Tefillah every day-for example start with Birchas Hashachar and focus strongly on that segment. You can even break it up if it may be too much, but definitely think about what you are saying when saying that part. Once you got to that for a while, start with more Tefilos-focusing on that, and what you have been focusing on before, and as you become more familiar with and able to understand what the Tefilos mean, add the rest of Davening so slowly but surely you will find yourself having Kavanah on some level the whole time. Sometimes it may help to break it up a bit. Having Kavanah throughout the whole Shacharis isnt easy :-/

    Also I have a picture of the Kotel on my backdrop on my laptop. Its fun to say Shemonah Esrei while facing it 🙂


    thanx for the support everyone! i guess we all have to work on something!

    tomim tihye

    I have found that viewing davening as my formal expression of gratitude to Hashem usually works best for my kavana.

    I also daven only a small amount each day, some days only brachos.

    I talk to Hashem throughout the day, though.


    tomim tihye- i do that too all the times… i always talk to hashem… He is by our side after all!! It makes me feel so good!!


    i am now switching schools. In the school that i was just in i was able to daven as long as i wanted as i had permission. However, i am now going to high school where i don’t have this opportunity to daven as long as i want. I would like to daven my normal 1 hour shemoneh esrei which helps me attain the top most kavannah that i feel i need and now that i cant i dont know what to do in order to keep my davening like it is now.

    any suggestions?


    Sarah – Does S.E. take you an hour or the whole davening?

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