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.