Yehuda Eisenberg
A Curriculum in Tefilah

A. Goals in the areas of Faith and Emotion

The teaching of tefilah and the organization of tefilah in school aim at helping the student to:

1. realize that tefilah is a mitzvah, and it is tefilah which is "the worship of the heart" through which there exists a tie between man and his G-d: "Ule'ovdo bechol levavchem - What is worship of the heart? This is tefilah." (Ta'anit b.)

2. feel the need to pray each day with devotion and fear.

3. know to turn to G-d with tefilah in a time of sorrow or with thanksgiving in a time of happiness.

4. feel that he is a part of the congregation and want to participate in prayers at the proper time, according to halacha, in the synagogue.

5. to be able to pray with devotion and feeling through identification with the content of the tefilah.

B. Coginitive Goals

The goals in the cognitive area are that the student -

1. know the meaning of the important words of the tefilah (according to his/her level ).

2. know the content of the tefilot and the main themes of the siddur.

3. be acquainted with the different prayers and when each is said (chol, Rosh chodesh, Shabat v'Yom Tov, chol hamo'ed, mo'adim).

4. know the special halachot of tefilah (the laws in case an error is made, those pertaining to the time of prayer and the reading of the Torah) and be able to act upon them.

5. be able to recognize the leaders of the tefilah in the synagogue congregation.

6. be able to differentiate between different versions (nuscha'ot) of the prayer.

C. Skills

The learning program of tefilah in school is geared at enabling the student to -

1. find the various tefilot in the siddur.

2. read the tefilah correctly and fluently.

3. identify the basic structures of the tefilah (opening, closing, bracha, etc.).

4. take an active part and lead in synagogue services.

5. use reference books (i.e. The World of Prayer by E. Munk).

6. be called up to the Torah and even act as reader.

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