Thursday, August 16, 2012

Interview with Rav Herschel Schachter on School Davening

For me, one of the toughest arenas in Jewish education is Tefillah (prayer) - how to make it appropriately meaningful for children at different ages, and how to train children to further evolve in it as they grow older.

The problem is not necessarily with the content of prayer, but with the mechanics and dynamics of running organized prayer for a group, as happens in a school setting:
* The need to pace it in a way that won't bore some or lose others;
* The need to work with individuals within a group;
* The need for staff to have their own tefillah and to model proper tefillah while still monitoring the room;
* The rules governing when one may/may not interrupt with explanations and announcements;
and so on.

This morning I came across a useful forty-minute interview of Rav Herschel Schachter, by my friend Rabbi Kenny Schiowitz, discussing these issues. Questions include:
* Is it better for teachers to daven with the group, or to daven beforehand?
* May we abridge parts of davening for educational reasons, or does that send the kids the wrong message?
* May a student be "kicked out" of minyan for discipline?

Here is the video:

You can see Rabbi Schiowitz's page here.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting ArticleAugust 17, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    This week’s parasha (15:14), the mitzvah of ha’anaka to a freed eved ivri.