Intention In Prayer


How can one find meaning in prayers that one didn’t write, are fixed and repeated day after day?  What can be done to overcome these challenges and find meaning and value in daily tefillah? In this lesson, learners explore the emphasis which the Sages placed on the role of kavanah, intention,in prayer and the tension between prayer that is personal and spontaneous and prayer that has a set liturgy and routine.  In depth discussion questions,  as well as reading the Chassidic story The Flute (see attachment below) enables students to better comprehend the importance of both spontaneous and fixed prayer in Jewish tradition. Creative learning activities such as a meditation exercise that addresses the challenges of maintaining intention, and brainstorming ideas for adding a more personal dimension to their tefillot are also featured in this resource.

Lesson Attachments​

The learner will:

  1. Understand why we need different types of prayer experiences

  2. know the meaning of kavanah, as well as the pro’s and con’s of personal versus fixed prayer

  3. be able to articulate their feelings about the different modes of prayer and make suggestions as to how to improve kavanah while praying

When you click on the Jewish Education by Design resource link featured above, you will find the following educational building blocks for the creation of a lesson plan:

  1. Essential questions that get to the “heart” of the learning

  2. A hook/s to open the lesson in an engaging fashion and spark the learners’ curiosity

  3. In depth discussion questions that are designed to elicit conceptual thinking and personal reflections about the featured source/s

  4. Suggested activities that enable the students to both process and apply what was learned in a thought provoking and creative fashion

  5. Further Study option/s linked to JEBD materials and related linkes

Student handoutsl

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