Solely In Black and White: Question: How do you Daven?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Question: How do you Daven?

Copied for Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh, Licensed under Creative Commons

In the spirit of the High Holy Days rapidly approaching, let’s talk about davening. The question for this week is: So, all kidding aside, how do you daven? (No, not to The Wish Genie! :-p) Besides for the actual words of davening, do you specify everything you need from Hashem or do keep your supplications generic knowing that Hashem knows best what you truly need?


  1. "Please heal all the choilim of Yisrael, specifically . . . . Please grant me the right shidduch at the right time and the right job at the right time." That is all.

  2. I try not to specify too much; like I won't say, "Send my bashert this year" but I'd say, "Send my bashert in the right time and it should go smoothly and be with mutual clarity."

    Hashem certainly knows best but our tefillos in Shemonah Esrei are pretty specific so there must be some merit in specifying...

  3. The point of davening isn't just to ask Hashem for things... though by asking Hashem for things we DO show that we know that we can only get things from Hashem. Still... it isnt the main point of davening.

  4. @ZZTop:
    You realize that means you’re asking not to win the lottery! :-p

    @Sun Inside Rain:
    True, but who is to say where to draw the line? Maybe one can only specify the things that are already listed in shemoneh Esrei? Or possibly not. Perhaps one can argue that Chazal chose purposely what to specify based on what they saw fit and through kabbalah and mesorah as to what is the most effective form of tefillah.

    @ Feivel ben Mishael:
    Agreed, 100%. That wasn’t the question, though. The question was: if one is davening, is it better to specify what one thinks they need or not, as a function within itself, not with regards to fulfilling their obligation to daven.

  5. SiBaW,
    I realized that possibility right after I posted it. However, everyone has some 'job' in life, whether it be kollel student living off a fat lotto check or whether it be janitor cleaning up the kollel. So, I think it still works.

  6. Unless there is something specific happening in my life that i need to pray for,,its usually more of a general prayer to have clarity in my life and to help me be the person i can and should be..but if there is something happening that needs urgent attention..then that gets a special mention

  7. Usually I read the tefilos and try to apply what the words are saying to me if the tefilah talks about "chaim" i think about life for myself, my loved ones and all of klal yisroel. If the tefilos talk about "yom haras olam" or "yom hadin" or "yom malchus Hashem" i try to think about these thoughts- today is the birthday of the world- what's the magnitude of that? today i'm mamlich Hashem....what does that mean? to me and to the world? I usually save personal requests for Shema Koleinu.....most of the time I just try to translate the tefilos into English in my head and think about the importance of the day.....

  8. I usually just ask Hashem to provie me with whatever I need to accomplish the things I need to do. I tend to only be specific as far as if someone in particular needs a refuah or yeshuah or if there is something specific which is so pressing or urgent that I daven for Hashem's help regarding whatever it is and to help me approach it in the right way.


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