By Mrs. Chanah Rose
As the final installment of our four-part Chinuch series on teaching Tefilla, we present a list of tips and resources.
Students often ask for practical tips for how to have more kavana in Davening. Luckily, Halacha and Chassidus provide us with many! Here are a few:
- Daven out loud, so that you can hear the words.
- Daven with a Niggun. This is a fundamental derech in Chassidus!
- Learn Peirush Hamilos – the literal translation of the words.
- Help children/students practice finding familiar Shorashim and attempting to translate the words, so it feels more familiar and they learn that it is worth a try. You can call this being a “Tefilla Detective!”
- Choose one part of Tefilla to concentrate on at a time. When you focus on a different paragraph each day or week, Hashem combines all of our Tefillos and it is as though we davened the whole Tefilla with kavana each day!
- Look inside – osiyos machkimos, the letters make us wise. The Rebbe surely knew the Tefillos by heart, but always looked intently inside the Siddur!
- If you can’t Daven in shul with the Minyan, try to Daven at the same time as the Minyan even if you are elsewhere, as this is an eis ratzon.
- Have a set place – a spot in Shul, a corner of your house, a certain chair etc. – where you Daven.
- Don’t rush into Davening, but pause for a moment to remove your mind from your day to day thoughts and worries. This may seem hard, but a person knows that in order to fall asleep, they have to put their daytime concerns out of their mind. Similarly, we can succeed in doing so before Tefilla!
- Learn some Chassidus before Davening, even a short thought or paragraph.
- Take your time whenever possible! Linger over the words. Give them time to sink and uplift you.
- Give Tzedaka, say Hareini, and look into your heart to ensure you feel united with your fellow Yidden, so that our Tefillos can flow freely without obstruction.
- Ask Hashem for help in having Kavana!
These tips are culled from a variety of sources, which were omitted for clarity and ease, but are available upon request.)
Resources for Learning and Teaching About Tefilla
This is a non-exhaustive list of Seforim, resources, and teaching tools for the topic of Tefilla. If you know of more that are not on this list, please reach out to [email protected] so that we all can benefit.
- HaTefilla V’Ha’Avoda, by Rabbi Yekusiel Green
- Hayom Yom – look up Tefilla in the index of topics
- My Prayer, by Rabbi Nissan Mandel
- Talelei Oros
- EmBRace Magazine – special issue on Tefilla
- Chinuch Concepts Tefilla Curriculum for elementary school, by Mrs. Shaindy Schapiro (Contact [email protected])
- Ready, Set, Daven! A Guided Journal: Daily Thoughts to Inspire Your Davening, by Ms. Liba Rimler (Available on Amazon.)
- My Tefillah Journal: A Fun and Engaging Tefilla Workbook, by Mrs. Leah Sollish (Available on Amazon.)
- Tefillah Power! A Creative Jewish Prayer Journal and Curriculum, by Chana Voola (Available on Amazon)
- Tehillim Garden: Inspirational Coloring Book for Tranquility with Verses from Tehillim, by Chana Voola (Available on Amazon)
- The G.R.O.W. Method by Mrs. Nechama Laber, including curriculum, planner and resources (GROWConnectionNetwork.com)
- Short Video on Making Tefilla Meaningful, with Mrs. Shaindy Schapiro
- Short Video on Making Tefilla Meaningful, with Mrs. Sara Blau
- “A Moment of Silence: Not Just for Public Schools” by Mrs. Rena Udkoff, and “A Moment of Silence for Our Own,” by Rabbi Chaim Yitzchok Vogel