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Hefsek in shemoneh esrei for kavanna

Question:

Is it permitted to stop in the middle of a brocha in shemoneh esrei to think one’s requests and reflect on the meaning of the words etc. in order to arouse kavanna? Is this considered a hefsek? If it is allowed, are there any constraints on what one is allowed to think or how long one can think for (like there are when the requests are verbalised)?

Answer:

Hello,

Yes, it is allowed (1).

It is hard to give exact guidelines as to what and how long you can reflect on the beracha. There is a very nice sefer called “Pathways to Prayer” that might shed some light on different and appropriate thoughts (kavana) that a person should have during davening.

All the best

 

Sources:

(1) See, for example, Yesod Ve’shoresh Ha’avodah shaar 5 perek 3-4.

 

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