Sunday, September 20, 2009

What's your Kavanna?

I love this story from Rav Steinsaltz. (article entitled "Education for Prayer.")

In order to explain something about this subject of kavvanah, I will quote a well-known anecdote:
They tell of a simple Jew, almost an ignoramus, who stood on Rosh Hashanah and recited with great fervor the liturgical poems: "These and these shout with a shouting, these and these roar with a roaring…" They asked him why this great fervor over '
befetsah mefatshin', and what did he understand by these prayers?
The Jew answered, “What do I care what is written there? - I know that all of the prayers have one meaning: Master of the Universe, help us to make a living."

On the topic of Kavanna, see this post too.

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