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Unread 09-01-2009, 09:35 AM   #1
Fesoy
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Motivating and educating our children to daven properly?

I wonder if our educational system is going to be successful in "producing" ovdim or even Chassidim who will daven with a geshmak and a chayus?
It seems from my limited perspective that very little emphases is placed on davening within the curriculum of the Yeshivas. I see children sitting in a minyan each morning with instructions on not talking, etc., but, without much else given in a way to motivate them. There are classes in understanding the Gemorrah but none in understanding the siddur. Is this the way it should be?

What is something that works for motivating children to daven?

Are there schools that do focus on this important part of a Jew's life?

Perhaps you can share some helpful parenting tips.
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Unread 09-01-2009, 01:51 PM   #2
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The parents and menahalim need to be a dugma chaya!
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Unread 09-01-2009, 02:21 PM   #3
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I think that watching someone daven correctly can be very inspiring. I still remember davening right behind Reb Berkie Chein A"H, in Kfar Chabad, and others who were Tamim in Lubavitch. What a tziur and voice! Plus other mashpim who set an example the right way.

But, will that be enough to inspire, and teach a youngster to daven properly in today's environment?

It seems that in the "old days" the focus was much more on daveing than it is today. You had the teaching and the examples to help raise up Chasidim who davened properly.

If one didn't know any better, it could be assumed, by observation, that davening properly today is accomplished by barely moving one's mouth, quietly, if not all together inaudibly, saying the words, at high speed, without a thought to what is being said.

How exciting is that? How can we get our children to break out of this "modern" ailment?
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Unread 09-01-2009, 02:52 PM   #4
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What you're saying is glaringly obvious. It's not just the way it "seems", it's the way it is. Avodas hatefilla is widely regarded as dead and buried, ch"v.

The Rebbe screamed (see here) against the neglect of avodas hatefilla. But the easy way out is to excuse oneself with the farshtuneneh canard: "Our dor is not shayach to avodas hatefilla", or even worse, to blame their own neglect on the Rebbe, when the Rebbe said no such thing ch"v, and said the opposite many times.

The only way to make real change is just to do it oneself as much as possible, and with a koch. And if your children are in a school/Yeshiva in which tefilla is not encouraged, then take it up with the hanholo!
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Unread 09-01-2009, 03:11 PM   #5
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Perhaps the lack of ovdim at one end of the spectrum is a cause for the lack of a chayus even within a regular davening with the minyan.

I am really concerned about the young children. They aren't even receiving a basic understanding of perush hamilos from what I can see.
There has to be crawling before walking, and walking before running.
If davening b'avoda is running, is there a focus even on crawling?

We still have gemorrah, S'A, Tanach, Chassidus as part of the daily curriculum in the Yeshivas. The Hayom yom states clearly that the beginning of a person's yeridah, r'l, is a lacking in the davening. With so many of our youngsters at risk, etc. the basic foundation of Yiddishkeit, a connection to Hashem, has got to be strengthened.

Somebody has got to have some success stories to share or ideas that work. We all can benefit from them.
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Unread 09-01-2009, 03:55 PM   #6
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All these things that Chabad Chassidus, sichos, etc. say about the importance of avodas hatefilla are not taken seriously. Most people don't even register what they're hearing, it's as if it were chinese. At the most they think it "means" to focus a bit more on pirush hamilois. But to think that the Rebbeim actually mean what they say, and are actually demanding serious avoida? That was in the pei's, don't ya know!
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Unread 09-01-2009, 09:38 PM   #7
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I would be happy if the basics of tefilla were taught in the Yeshiva.
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Unread 09-01-2009, 10:04 PM   #8
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Tefillah was never "taught" as a class before this generation. That's what Chassidus seder (also a relatively new invention) is for.
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Unread 09-01-2009, 10:18 PM   #9
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Lots of things weren't done in past times. But if you see that it's needed because of the lowliness of the generation, that's not necessarily an argument; you do it. And in this particular case you err: The hayom yom of 8 Teves says:

Quote:
The Tzemach Tzedek instructed all the tutors of his young grandchildren, that, in addition to regular studies, they should teach the simple meaning of the prayers. Once a month the children came to their grandfather to be tested in this subject.
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Unread 09-01-2009, 10:22 PM   #10
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Good point. I did not state the above to debate, but rather to add a perspective.
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Unread 09-01-2009, 10:25 PM   #11
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Tefillah definitely has to be worked on, by all of us, it's avoda shebalev.
On a positive note, I saw the girls davening in Beis Rivka and was very impressed. I don't know what's going on inside their heads but their enthusiasm was amazing, none of the impatience I've seen in other places to be finished with davening already.
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Unread 09-01-2009, 11:09 PM   #12
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sheryibu kemoson beYisroel
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Unread 09-02-2009, 08:56 AM   #13
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Has davening b'arichus been officially relegated as "a thing of the past"?

The kuntres haovodah, and kuntres hatefillah have not been taken off the shelf, but the "leaders" of the khal (again from my perspective) daven with the minyan on Shabbos. Isn't this teaching others that that is what is supposed to be done?

The Rebbe would daven with the minyan on Shabbos. So how is someone supposed to tell or suggest to others that they should engage in lengthy tefillah?
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Unread 09-02-2009, 10:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fesoy View Post
Has davening b'arichus been officially relegated as "a thing of the past"?

The kuntres haovodah, and kuntres hatefillah have not been taken off the shelf, but the "leaders" of the khal (again from my perspective) daven with the minyan on Shabbos. Isn't this teaching others that that is what is supposed to be done?

The Rebbe would daven with the minyan on Shabbos. So how is someone supposed to tell or suggest to others that they should engage in lengthy tefillah?
I spoke with the leader of a small Chabad kehillah about this very subject. His position was that he personally wanted to daven b'arichus, but that he felt a responsibility to the kehillah (which sometimes struggled for a minyan) to daven with the minyan (and at least be one of the sheish mispallelim). Perhaps some leaders of larger communities feel as though they ought to be a mashpia on to those in the community who make a weekly choice about whether to either daven with the minyan, or talk through davening. Those who want to be misbonen obviously do not need the Rov's haskomoh.

Incidentally, I think Likutei Diburim may be even more essential for today's generation than Kuntres HoAvodah (which I learned in Yeshiva, by the way) or Kuntres haTefillah. LD has also been translated into English (I think) so its accessible to anyone (who speaks English). The same goes for the FR's compiled sichos. The FR really brings the whole davening issue into proper perspective in a slew of different places.

IIRC, there is some good stuff in Bikur Chicago about davening. But I may be imagining that.
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Unread 09-02-2009, 12:57 PM   #15
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The Rebbe would daven with the minyan on Shabbos. So how is someone supposed to tell or suggest to others that they should engage in lengthy tefillah?
Until mem-ches, i.e., the overwhelming majority of the years in which the Rebbe was with us be'almo dein, in general, the Rebbe would davven biyechidus. Why the Rebbe chose to davven betzibur after that the Rebbe didn't tell us, to my knowledge. But the Rebbe never retracted anything from the derech of Chassidus Chabad of avodas hatefilla, ch"v. And as I quoted earlier in this thread (and see the other posts on that blog that was linked), the Rebbe clearly demanded Avodas Hatefilla kipshutoh.

As for someone foolish enough to put forward the above claim, this shows that he has a problem with his attitude, that means that for the meantime he's probably not shayach to Avodas Hatefilla anyway, and he'll be doing well to davven betzibur. Avodas hatefilla is only shayach for someone who has a genuine desire to toil in learning Chassidus, to delve into it in depth, and to come close to Hashem--see here. Someone who's lazy will come up with excuses of all sorts. When you answer one excuse, he'll come up with another, because he's just not interested. In contrast, a pnimi is honest with himself and has no excuses.
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Unread 09-02-2009, 05:57 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by noahidelaws View Post
Until mem-ches, i.e., the overwhelming majority of the years in which the Rebbe was with us be'almo dein, in general, the Rebbe would davven biyechidus.
Not Shabbas. Only in middle of the week (except for the known and obvious exceptions)..
I am also not sure that yechidus=arichus (not that I would know what arichus meant by the Rebbe vs the Rashab, for example). This is without getting into the rest of thread.
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Unread 09-02-2009, 10:28 PM   #17
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Not Shabbas. Only in middle of the week (except for the known and obvious exceptions)..
I am also not sure that yechidus=arichus (not that I would know what arichus meant by the Rebbe vs the Rashab, for example). This is without getting into the rest of thread.

So, how can we "fault" someone who doesn't daven at length, they could be following the Rebbe's example?

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Why the Rebbe chose to davven betzibur after that the Rebbe didn't tell us, to my knowledge. But the Rebbe never retracted anything from the derech of Chassidus Chabad of avodas hatefilla,
There are many things that we learn by watching the Rebbe. Since the Rebbe's davening on Shabbos differered from the conduct described in the derech of Chassidus Chabad, how are we to know that isn't what we should be doing ourselves.

IIRC, There are stories about the Rebbe Rashab davening at great length publicly. I don't know of similar stories with the Rebbe.
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Unread 09-03-2009, 06:15 AM   #18
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Perhaps some leaders of larger communities feel as though they ought to be a mashpia on to those in the community who make a weekly choice about whether to either daven with the minyan, or talk through davening.
I'd believe that if during the week they would daven baarichus.

As for following the Rebbe's example, the Rebbe also davvened Mincha many times long after shekia. Are we to follow that too? We are to learn from the Rebbe to be careful to davven with a minyan. But the claim above is absurd for anyone who has learnt the sources, including the Rebbe's own igros on the topic. As for the Rebbe's arichus, we can't compare ourselves to the Rebbe in this regard, because time works differently for him. As the Frierdiker Rebbe said of the Rebbe: "For him, a minute is a year."
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Unread 09-03-2009, 07:29 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Fesoy View Post
IIRC, There are stories about the Rebbe Rashab davening at great length publicly. I don't know of similar stories with the Rebbe.
Where are these stories about public davvening (besides the obvious first night of Rosh Hashono - and (perhaps) Musaf of RH)?
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Unread 09-03-2009, 08:50 AM   #20
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I'll just chime in my person feeling without getting into the earlier discussion.

I, like many others, struggle with my own attention span and I also struggle with the limitations of work, family, etc when finding time to daven properly. One thing I have found based on the Rebbe's example (also the Mittler Rebbe), and I have discussed this with mashpiim and at farbrengens and found others feel the same, is that quality is something that can be worked on along with quantity.

The Rebbe usually davened relatively quickly and with a very even voice, but I'm sure he had all of the kavanos that someone of his stature would have during davening. It seems to me that he must have had an intense focus in his mind to be able to accomplish all of that so quickly and with so little outward emotion. Even if I cannot spend 10+ minutes on a shemonah esrei more than once in a great while, at least I can focus intensely during the 3 or 4 minutes I spend in a regular davening.
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Unread 09-03-2009, 09:45 AM   #21
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Where are these stories about public davvening (besides the obvious first night of Rosh Hashono - and (perhaps) Musaf of RH)?
It's been a while since I heard about them, hence my "IIRC". I was in part referring to the R"H davening and perhaps other times as well. My memory is not very clear on this.
Most likely it was something I heard at a farbringen.


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As for following the Rebbe's example, the Rebbe also davvened Mincha many times long after shekia. Are we to follow that too?
The issue that I have with your example is, that davening with a minyan is a clear halocho in S"A. So, by observing the Rebbe do what is stated in S"A is an instruction for others, as opposed to davening long after shekia.

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Originally Posted by noahidelaws View Post
As for the Rebbe's arichus, we can't compare ourselves to the Rebbe in this regard, because time works differently for him. As the Frierdiker Rebbe said of the Rebbe: "For him, a minute is a year."
That goes without saying, nevertheless this thread is about educating people to daven properly. As you said above:
Quote:
The parents and menahalim need to be a dugma chaya!
The examples that I see, starting from leaders, including the Rebbe, is davening with the minyan. So, how do we educate people to daven b'arichus?
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Unread 09-03-2009, 09:56 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by MahTovChelkeinu View Post
The Rebbe usually davened relatively quickly and with a very even voice, but I'm sure he had all of the kavanos that someone of his stature would have during davening. It seems to me that he must have had an intense focus in his mind to be able to accomplish all of that so quickly and with so little outward emotion.
Kavonos and the like is a different discussion to what we are discussing here.

To throw in one more little point. We are having a valid discussion about lack of avodas hatfilla.

If there would be the the proper respect for tfilla, i.e. davvening 3 times a day with a decent minyan, no talking, walking around, a serious slow atmosphere etc etc, than one can talk about taking it to the next level. As long as those basics are lacking, there is no foundation upon which to build, and these discussions are abrocho levatolo, IMHO. [Noah - please don't shoot...].
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Unread 09-03-2009, 10:34 AM   #23
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Kavonos and the like is a different discussion to what we are discussing here.
I'm not so sure that we can extract kavonos from a discussion on davening properly.

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Originally Posted by MahTovChelkeinu View Post
The Rebbe usually davened ......with a very even voice, but I'm sure he had all of the kavanos that someone of his stature would have during davening. It seems to me that he must have had an intense focus in his mind
The highlighted above are all important aspects to davening properly.
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Unread 09-03-2009, 01:47 PM   #24
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To throw in one more little point. We are having a valid discussion about lack of avodas hatfilla.

If there would be the the proper respect for tfilla, i.e. davvening 3 times a day with a decent minyan, no talking, walking around, a serious slow atmosphere etc etc, than one can talk about taking it to the next level. As long as those basics are lacking, there is no foundation upon which to build, and these discussions are abrocho levatolo, IMHO. [Noah - please don't shoot...].
I don't see why you think I'd have a problem with what you say. Of course someone who can't davven properly with a minyan isn't yet holding by arichus hatefilla. However, for the ehrleche people who are holding by davenen with a minyan, and there are still many of them k"y, the discussion is relevant, to encourage them to move to the next level.
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It's been a while since I heard about them, hence my "IIRC". I was in part referring to the R"H davening and perhaps other times as well. My memory is not very clear on this.
In Likutei Diburim there is a sicha where it describes beautifully how the Frierdiker Rebbe as a child would go into shul after everyone had gone and observe how his holy father, the Rebbe Rashab would davven ba'arichus. Once he heard the Rebbe Rashab cry, and he asked his relatives why his father was crying, etc. Perhaps that's what you heard about.
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The issue that I have with your example is, that davening with a minyan is a clear halocho in S"A. So, by observing the Rebbe do what is stated in S"A is an instruction for others, as opposed to davening long after shekia.
The issue that I have with your claim is that davening ba'arichus, with hisbonenus, is a clear demand of Raboseinu Nesi'einu, and is in fact central to the whole shita of avodas Hashem al pi Chabad, as everyone knows (but most don't register). But like I said, this is a stupid excuse that only an insincere person who's (for the meantime) not shayach to genuine davvenen could present.

The Rebbe also stayed up every night until four in the morning or later, and barely slept. The Rebbe also barely ate, and often fasted. Will you learn from those things too?

In any case, bepashtus, the simple reason that the Rebbe davvened with a minyan is ... because he wanted to strengthen davvenen with a minyan--not because he wanted to weaken avodas hatefilla, ch"v. Whenever the Rebbe was told that someone was davenen ba'arichus, he would encourage them very strongly. So please, enough of this.

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The examples that I see, starting from leaders, including the Rebbe, is davening with the minyan. So, how do we educate people to daven b'arichus?
See this sicha about Pinchas. The Rebbe says that when we see that something needs to be done, we should ignore the leaders.
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Unread 09-03-2009, 04:07 PM   #25
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In Likutei Diburim there is a sicha where it describes beautifully how the Frierdiker Rebbe as a child would go into shul after everyone had gone and observe how his holy father, the Rebbe Rashab would davven ba'arichus. Once he heard the Rebbe Rashab cry, and he asked his relatives why his father was crying, etc. Perhaps that's what you heard about.
Thank you. That very well could be what is in my mind.


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The issue that I have with your claim is that davening ba'arichus, with hisbonenus, is a clear demand of Raboseinu Nesi'einu, and is in fact central to the whole shita of avodas Hashem al pi Chabad, as everyone knows (but most don't register).


The Rebbe also stayed up every night until four in the morning or later, and barely slept. The Rebbe also barely ate, and often fasted. Will you learn from those things too?
My issue is not with davening b'arichus. It was with your argument that we can't learn from the Rebbe's example of davening with the minyan because the Rebbe did other things that we shouldn't emulate. You just gave a couple of other examples that fall into that category.
Halavai, we all should emulate the Rebbe in all areas that we are capable and permitted.




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In any case, bepashtus, the simple reason that the Rebbe davvened with a minyan is ... because he wanted to strengthen davvenen with a minyan--not because he wanted to weaken avodas hatefilla, ch"v. Whenever the Rebbe was told that someone was davenen ba'arichus, he would encourage them very strongly.
No argument here.

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So please, enough of this.
The discussion is by no means over. Your point about the the importance of daveing b'arichus isn't really the discussion. The point is educating people to daven properly. There has to be some consensus as to what is "proper" in today's day and age. It's not so simple.


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See this sicha about Pinchas. The Rebbe says that when we see that something needs to be done, we should ignore the leaders.
By Pinchas the leaders all agreed that something had to be done, they just happened to not take action. If the leaders here are teaching people to do otherwise, then not listening is anarchy.
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