Thursday, May 21, 2009


Ever since I was a young girl I loved davening. In elementary school one girl a week got to bring home a special decorated siddur, and I always felt so privileged when it was my turn, I cherished that siddur. There was a joy to learning how to daven and davening out loud with the whole class. I loved having kavannah and pointing to the words as I said them.

Once we started learning the meanings of the words, in baer tefilah, I loved it even more. I felt a connection towards the words of davening. They seemed to be such powerful words, especially shemone esrei. When I learned that by Refaeinu you can ask for someone to get better, I was amazed by it. I made sure to daven really well all the time.

At that time though davening was mainly just for school. When I was at home on Shabbos and Sunday I didn’t daven. To me davening was associated with school. Although on shabbos if I would go to shul, I remember my mother telling me about the specialness of mussaf and kesser. Kesser became a special thing. Then I went to sleep away camp going into 6th grade. At that age we weren’t expected to daven much of the Shabbos davening, so we got to go early, while the older girls stayed for leining and other parts of the shabbos davening. Then one summer when I was in camp, my shiur counselor decided it was time we learned how to daven on Shabbos. So she taught us, I still remember her telling us about saying “Kein yehi Ratzon” 3 times towards the end.

Then when I was in High School, I had this great Beier Tefillah teacher, who taught so much on every word, that it was amazing, I truly loved it. By that time we were davening to ourselves in school, and not out loud. At that time lots of stuff were added to the davening that we were never “taught” to daven before. It seemed like too many words to say, and the rest of the class seemed to daven much faster than me, so I cut back on the amount I said. I don’t know how I picked and chose what to daven, perhaps they were bold in my siddur. I still did love my siddur though, I liked how it looked used, to me it made it special. After eighth grade graduating we were given a siddur, but I never got myself to use that one, cause I liked my old one that I was familiar with.

Anyways, once I left High School, the davening ended, I would just daven shabbos when I went to shul. Although in the summer right after High School I did daven for the first time at home, partly because it was a special time, starting college and all. I go to shul every shabbos now, and whenever I go I cherish the chance I have to daven, although I end up going when their up to leining, so I end up just davening mussaf. But I love when I get to hear the chazzan saying the shemone Esrei over. I get such a joy from the words and the way they are said. When he gets up to the words “ ומי דומה לך “ I feel myself soaring with those words. I love yom tovim when there is a long davening, I feel so good after davening.

Being that I love davening so much, it would only make sense that I should daven every day at home, but being that I never davened at home before I just can’t get myself to start. It doesn’t feel natural. In a way I’m jealous of men that get to go to shul for a minyan 3 times a day, cause then they have a set time and place to daven.

Now, what brought all these davening thoughts up? Well, I believe that davening has power, and if you want or need something then you should daven for it. But yet, I’m afraid that if I daven for something then I will jinx it and it won’t happen. That if I ever say out loud that I want something, then I won’t get it. Same with the other way around, if I say I really don’t want something to happen then it will happen.

Like the other day a man came to our class to draw a raffle to pick 2 winners that will get a $200 voucher towards the Becker CPA review courses. For some reason I really didn’t want my name to be picked, because I had missed the midterm since I was sick, and I didn’t want attention to be drawn to myself. So I kept saying to myself, please don’t pick me, Please don’t pick me! Then guess what happened, the guy called out my name, its like I had a feeling that it would happen. So I won the 200 dollars. Which brings me what this is all really about.

So I finished all my finals, and now all I have to do is wait for my grades to see if I passed or not, to see if I will be graduating. I’m really scared that I didn’t pass, and the anxiety is driving me crazy. I wish I can daven to Hashem that it should work out, that I should pass my classes. But yet I’m afraid that if I daven then it will be jinxed. So I’m in a dillemna here.

O, and if I was a guy, and I didn’t pass my classes then I would go to Kollel! But since I’m a girl, that’s not an option.


mother in israel said...

"But yet, I’m afraid that if I daven for something then I will jinx it and it won’t happen. That if I ever say out loud that I want something, then I won’t get it. Same with the other way around, if I say I really don’t want something to happen then it will happen."
Do you feel that Hashem will not give you something davka because you ask for it?
It's hard to get used to davening at home when you are used to davening with a group.

harryer-than-them-all said...


auror said...

Interesting post! Wow I can relate to so many of those feelings it's incredible. The davening dilemma... it's like I try to daven every day (school days at least... shabbos I go to shul but stay in the playground with my little brothers), but when I have a test or something I MAKE SURE to daven and then I feel like a hypocrite, like I'm only davening because I need something...? It is weird but I also like saying tehillim, maybe you can try that for your situation if you find it hard to daven. Oh so my problem with davening at home is always that someone in my family needs me once I've started pesukei d'zimrah and then I can't talk... so tehillim is much more flexible, I can end the pasuk, talk, and then pick it back up. Congrats on winning that lottery, that's kinda cool considering how many students there must be! When do grades come in? Oh and I also always liked chazaras hashatz ;) the way they zoom through it and everyone answers is so cool. Also to think when you're davening that all Jews say the same prayer, same words, everyone's taught the same thing to say/answer for years and years... I find that fascinating. (like try to imagine your professor in shul saying the same stuff as you lol). Btw that was funny what you wrote about kollel if you were a boy... don't give up you can still be a bais yaakov teacher ;) hahahaha

תומיס said...


I know I'm late on this but I'll write anyway.

I think you should daven with a minyan everyday. Although you are a woman and do not count IN a minyan, you can still daven for yourself. Modern Orthodox tend to be more accepting of women showing up at daily services (in my community, usually five women show up to services). As long as you sit in the women's section, it should be fine. Do not let ANYONE tell you you CAN'T daven because you're a woman - please see the JOFA website for important info on this.

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Jewish Side of Babysitter said...

Thank You, perhaps I will start davening more.

Recent blog:=- Stealing –> Kefira

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