Sunday, September 6, 2009

Dveykus Part II - How

I became Frum because I was convinced Torah was truth.
I became Chassidish because I was searching for G-d.

How do I try to achieve dveykus?

It depends on my mood and my emotions.

Do I feel happy, sad, depressed, joyful, energetic, lethargic, bitter-sweet,
aflame, ecstatic, tired, burned out, excited?
Each feeling and emotion force me to try a new method:

Sometimes I use a siddur, and sometimes I close my eyes.
Sometimes I saw gently and Sometimes violently.
Sometimes I gesticulate and gesture and Sometimes I stand still like a stone
statue in awe.
Sometimes I daven silently with only my lips moving, and Sometimes with in
silence I scream.
Sometimes I chant tunelessly and Sometimes I sing a niggun in my mind.
Sometimes I daven fast and Sometimes slow.

Then come the dangerous questions:

(When) Do I sacrifice halacha for dveykus?
Do I go back and repeat words, or is that assur?
Do I chase away foreign thoughts or try to uplift them?
Do I meditate or daven?
Do I pray for solely for physical needs or spirtual ones?
Do I skip parts of the service to keep pace with the chazan or do I just
daven at my own pace anyway?
Do I add my own words (even in another language) to the davening or leave it
as is?
Do I daven in shul, or stay home and daven without a minyan for better
concentration and a slower pace?
Do I let zman tefillah or krias shema pass or even disregard and forget
about them completely?

What about preparation, tehillim, mikva, learning before davening and
davening before davening?

maybe there is too much I. Maybe my dveykus is a lie.
Is the quest for dveykus just the yetzer hara?
maybe I am chasing a dream.
Maybe I should just give up and daven like everyone else.
Or maybe that is the yetzer hara telling me to give up?

Do you give up? Sometimes I do...
Sometimes I dont give up, and just keep trying.

Kol Tuv,
R' Tal Moshe Zwecker
Director Machon Be'er Mayim Chaim
Phone: 972-2-992-1218 / Cell: 972-54-842-4725
VoIP: 516-320-6022
eFax: 1-832-213-3135
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danielrosenthal said...

Rav Tal,
While I cannot express myself in the same exact terminology as I am unsure what exactly what is supposed to occur in 'dveykus',. I can only relate to most of the various topics on tephillah with a story that takes place in a Church. When I was growing up my closest friend was/is Roman Catholic. Not knowing any better, I went to church with him every Sunday.
I never knelt, nor took the "communion" and the entire time - from the time I was 11/12 until 17/18 that I went, I knew that the whole thing wasn't for me - but I composed the following prayer that I said every Sunday "G-d, if there is a G-d, and I think that there is, you would know why I am here better than myself, and that I love this family and that this religion of theirs is not for me - please help me find my path."

Now at 35, married with three children in Beit Shemesh, I find that I cannot pray the way I did in that Church.

I have been in almost every Jewish stream since 1994 until today, where I find myself looking at the streams and wondering why I want to even get in the boat, much less get wet.

"Dveykus" if it is possible in this day and age of Information overload would not be what it was for our ancestors - since we cannot be them and they cannot be us.

More later.


yitz said...

first I think its important to remember that HaShem loves us regardless of how we pray.

then from there the question becomes how much we want to get out of our tefillah --

sometimes we want to fulfill the requirement, sometimes we need inspiration, sometimes we just want to return to the warm comfort of our Father's embrace. (and there are infinitely different sometimes)

i try to not let myself finish praying until I feel like I've touched something real.

Once I feel like I really got somewhere, depending on my mood/energy/otherDemandsOnMyTime I'll shy away, retreat, go deeper, or just take it slow.