Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  Page title
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Staying On Your Toes

Yet even after implementing the previous suggestions, it is extremely difficult to avoid invasive thoughts during prayer. Sometimes we invest great effort in advance preparation, and our concentration is nevertheless impeded. After having commenced praying, what can one do to clear his head?

The Sefer Chassidim advises pressing one's toes to the ground and lifting himself slightly off the ground. While he is doing this one should make sure not to lean on the wall. Assuming this position when necessary will banish foreign thoughts from his mind (Sefer Chassidim 28).

At times, grasping an object of kedushah can help us concentrate on our prayers. Some suggest that holding onto his four tzitzis will clear his head of foreign thoughts (Makor Chaim 98,1). A person should utilize whatever methods are at his disposable to help him to concentrate and focus on his prayers.

Praying in Private

When Rabbi Akiva prayed in public he would pray quickly in order not to be a burden on everyone else. However, when he prayed privately he bowed down and prostrated himself and infused his prayers with so much intention, that he would start at one side of the room and conclude on the other (Berachos 31a).

Rabbi Akiva teaches us an important rule for tefillah. When a person is praying alone and in solitude with his Creator, he can express his feeling of closeness to Hashem in whatever way he sees fit. Rabbi Akiva would pray with such fervor that he would literally move across the room while praying.

However, when a person is praying in the public eye, he should be more careful. In that situation, his outward gestures might be a subconscious attempt for drawing attention. He should make an effort not to differ from the rest of the people there (Pri Megadim 95,1 as cited by Mishnah Berurah 95,5).

In general, a Jewish man must try and pray with a minyan, and must be cognizant of how he acts in public. In rare instances or in extenuating circumstances, a man may have to pray in private. He should view these situations as opportunities to reinforce his ties with Hashem.

Women are not obligated to pray with a minyan. They have the advantage of establishing a daily meeting with Hashem in private. Family circumstances permitting, if a woman is able to find a quiet place where she can pray every day, she can use this opportunity to strengthen her relationship with her Creator.


Text Copyright 2012 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 

ARTICLES ON KI SISA AND PURIM:

View Complete List

Fear of What?
Rabbi Label Lam - 5766

Greatest Accolade Given To Mordechai
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757

Distant Wisdom
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5763

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Complete Dedication
Rabbi Yosey Goldstein - 5756

How Could They?
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5758

The True Purim Experience
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5771

ArtScroll

Forged With Love
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5773

Purim - Don't Lose Hope
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

Direct Supervision
Shlomo Katz - 5767

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Sacrifice by Learning Torah
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5760

Internal Confrontations
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5774

Dazzled by the Light
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5771

> Preparation for Happiness
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5769

Amalek - Blinded by Nature
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

If One Does Not Own Land, He Need Not Go 'Up' for the Festival
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5764

Did Esther Succeed
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information