Thursday, December 15, 2011

How to Teach Tefilla - Part 1

So this is the million dollar question - how can one succeed to teach kids how to daven and evaluate your results?

I see the following ten variables at play here:
  1. The calisthenics of proper prayer - when to move and what gestures are appropriate
  2. Symbolism in the physical environment - being comfortable in any minyan
  3. The vocabulary of prayer - what are the key trigger words
  4. Hebrew
  5. Introspection and self-examination
  6. Meditation and blocking out mental distractions
  7. God 
  8. Repetition of ritual performance and maintaining a sense of purpose 
  9. Music and training of the ear to the melodies of tefilla
  10. Balancing personal needs with communal benefit
Over the next few weeks I will be suggesting resources and ideas for developing these variables and methodology for evaluating their implementation.   

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