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The Synagogue

Concentrating During Prayer

I just do not seem to be able to get many things out of my mind while I pray!

I fully sympathize with your challenge. One reason Halacha (Jewish Law) says that we should repeat the same prayers every day, pray with a group, and pray both at a set time and in a set seat, is to help block out distractions. The familiar words, location and spiritual environment (the synagogue) help us focus on the reason we are praying and Whom we are praying to. But if that is not possible try and pray in a corner, away from other people and sounds. Read the Artscroll siddur. And try to be as real as you can, as essentially yourself as you can be. Speak from the heart, and don’t worry if at times your mind wanders. Just rein your mind in, gently, and pick up from where you left off. English is fine, if that is what you understand.

Be well,
Rabbi Yaakov Rosenblatt
Dallas, TX

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