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The Somewhat Litvshe Yid

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Fix number one...

Obviously fixing oneself is the most important part of Judaism. This comes before fixing others, based on loving one's neighbor as oneself, there is an obligation to love oneself. That means before being m'zakeh others one should be m'zakeh himself. Since I'm only starting here on this blog I'll still occasionally be tossing up some introductary posts. One of the things I'd like to do here is mention the various points that I'd like to work on myself and get reader's opinions and experiences on the topic.

I'll start with what, at first blush at least, is an easy one: better davening. It really isn't all that easy and it's something I've been working on for a while with mixed results. When I'm davening with a minyan and I'm not completely exhausted I don't have a problem davening slowly and being careful to pronounce all the words. I do still have a problem paying attention to everything I'm saying, especially during Shmona Esrai. Actually, even more so when I'm doing it slowly. I'll find my mind wandering and that I've gone through 3-4 brochas without even realizing it.

I'm not, at this point, aiming at having all the correct kavonas and such, just to keep my mind on the fact that I'm standing before HaShem. At the very least, if my mind is going to wander, let it wander to topics of Kedushah or even not topics of Tumah. That is to say, I don't need to be thinking about last night's episode of CSI while I'm trying to daven. Maybe it's not horrid that I'm going over some chiddush I heard from my Rav, though that to isn't a best case scenario. So, anyone have any ideas for being able to concentrate on Shmona Esrai?

(I'm starting with something mostly parve...don't worry once I get into the swing of it I'll branch into more...ahem...touchy topics)


  • If you can get over the busha, lol, consider picking up an Artscroll interlinear siddur. The layout forces you to slow down when davening (assuming you look in the siddur), and it also has the advantage of having a handy interlinear translation for the ocassional unfamiliar word/term.

    By Blogger LTF, at Friday, June 03, 2005 12:28:00 AM  

  • That actually isn't a bad idea, though I don't like Artscroll in general. I do have, for Shabbos and Rosh HaShonnah, a sefer Kuntras Avodas HaTfilla by R' Meir HaLevi Birnbaum, which presents the text in an somewhat linear manner and parallel brings pirush hamillim. I found it works well on the Yomim Noraim but haven't been able to get into using it on Shabbos. I need to work harder.

    Oh...and the interlinear stuff of Artscroll is completely unreadable in my opinion. One of my wife's cousins had the interlinear bencher for his wedding and we got sent a few copies. Unusable, totally.

    By Blogger Litvshe, at Friday, June 03, 2005 12:48:00 AM  

  • If you don't like Artscroll, there's also Metsuda by R' Avrohom Davis.

    Btw, what do you mean that the "interlinear stuff of Arscroll is completely unreadable..."?

    By Blogger LTF, at Friday, June 03, 2005 5:33:00 PM  

  • I mean that it's extremely difficult to follow. Not used to reading English from right to left. I find it very distracting.

    By Blogger Litvshe, at Saturday, June 04, 2005 10:05:00 PM  

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