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Mishna Berura Summaries

Siman 98 – Kavana

  1. When daavening Shemoneh Esray, think about the simple meaning of the words. Remove all worrisome thoughts and imagine as if the Shechina is opposite you and speak to Him with no less intent that you would give to speaking before a king of mere flesh and blood. (ShA1 – MB1)
  2. If a foreign thought comes to you in the tefilla, discontinue until the thought passes. (ShA1)
  3. A segula to remove foreign thoughts: Before tefilla pass your hand over your forehead 3 times and each time say the possuk “Layv tohor b’ra li Elokim…”. If a thought comes to you in the middle of tefilla do pass your hand but do not verbalize the possuk, just think about it. (MB2)
  4. Before tefilla consider the lofty nature of Hashem, the lowliness of man, and remove from your heart all pleasures of man. (Rama1)
  5. It is forbidden to kiss your young children in shul so you will entrench into your heart that there is no love like the love of Hashem. (Rama1)
  6. The problem of bringing children under chinuch age to shul: They play and dance around which degrades the kedusha of the bais hak’nesses – they disturb the daavening – they will be used to such behavior even when they grow older. (MB3)
  7. Children of chinuch age should be brought to shul and taught the proper way: to sit with fear and reverence – not be allowed to move around – encouraged to answer “omayn”, Kaddish, and Kedusha. (MB3)
  8. Do not daaven in a place that has a strong smell that could distract your kavana. (MB7)
  9. Beg when daavening – like a pauper at the rich man’s door. Do not make it seem like the tefilla is a burden. (ShA3)
  10. Remember that it is not in the power of any creature, angel, star, or mazal to fulfil your wishes – only by Hashem’s will. (MB8)
  11. It is fitting to have special clothing for tefilla similar to the clothes of the cohanim during their service. (ShA4)
  12. Do not count on your intense kavana and expect Hashem to fulfil your wishes. Just rely on His enormous kindness. (ShA5)

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