May 27, 2024
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Asara B’Tevet Puts Focus on Kavana at Ma’ayanot

On the fast of Asara B’Tevet, Ma’ayanot delved into the topic of kavana during tefillah and meeting one’s potential. Students selected from a choice of sessions: Faculty and students served on two separate panels discussing their most meaningful moments in tefillah and their kavana experiences; Rabbi Dr. Jay Goldmintz spoke about “The Two Mysterious Fasts of the Month of Tevet: The Challenge of Meeting our Potential”; and Bailey Braun, dean of students, led students in a class on meditation.

Panelist Michal Laub, a Ma’ayanot alumna who is a senior at Stern College, described an experience of finding meaning while focusing on the words of Kabbalat Shabbat. Sheindl Berger, a junior, recalled a turning point in her life during a particular Neilah on Yom Kippur. “I felt guilt, fear, pleading, but also knew that Hashem was there and listening to me. After Yom Kippur I wanted to experience that again and again, so I took it upon myself to daven with kavana each day.”

Rina Rogers, a freshman who attended Braun’s meditation class, liked that it was “different and interesting.” Sarah Rosenfeld, a senior added, “Sometimes we think Hashem is removed, but we’re immersed in Hashem and Hashem is immersed in us.”

Students also watched a video from aish.com about the power of shema and reflected on the day. In concluding his session, Rabbi Goldmintz said, “The 10th of Tevet is about a siege, about trying to close us in. But it’s not only about the calamities. We all need to take time out for a few minutes to think about what we can become. The siege was just a beginning. Take small steps. Ask yourself, what little things can I do to reach my potential as a Jew?”

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