Kavanah Improvement Project

Introduction

The Kavanah Improvement Project is a complete system that allows you to use your computer to improve your kavanah. Through the use of directed kavanah exercises, self-evaluation, and customized feedback, the program will provide you with the proper guidance to improve your davening.

Full Instructions:

(An abbreviated version of these instructions can be found within the program itself by clicking on "Help")

1. Kavanah Tip of the Day

Every day, click on the "Tip of the Day" to find a Kavanah exercise that you can use to improve your kavanah for that day. The tips will start out pretty basic, but as the days and weeks go on, they will slowly get more advanced.

Since kavanah is such an individual experience, you will inevitably find some of the tips more useful than others. If you like a particular tip, and you want to save it for the future, click on "Save Tip in MemoPad" (Palm version only). This will store that tip in the MemoPad of your PDA/cellphone. If you don't like a particular tip, feel free to use the day instead to reinforce a previous tip.

2. Evaluate Your Kavanah

After you complete each tefillah over the course of the day (or just once a day, when you have a chance), click the "Evaluate" button to evaluate your kavanah during that tefillah, on a scale from one to ten. If you had no kavanah at all, that's a one, while absolutely perfect kavanah would rate a ten.

An evaluation of kavanah is, by its very nature, extremely subjective. It will also vary greatly from person to person, depending on what level of kavanah you already achieve. What one person would consider to be an 8/10, another person would consider to be a 3/10.

To help you find the right way to rate your own kavanah, you need to consider what you would consider to be a 1/10 versus a 10/10. For some, a 1/10 would be missing davening entirely, while for some it would be saying every word of davening, but without kavanah. For some, 10/10 would be actually saying every word of davening with an attempt at kavanah, while for others it would be an experience approaching ruach hakodesh. Everybody is different.

If you continue to have difficulty establishing a means of measurement, think about the average kavanah you achieve during a typical tefillah now. Consider that to be a 3/10; this will give you enough room for improvement while allowing for an occasional backslide.

With practice, you should find that the ability to rate your kavanah quickly becomes second nature, and the process of deciding on a number and entering it into the program will take just a few seconds.

3. Analyis and Recommendations

Click on the "Analysis" button to see a complete breakdown of how well you've been doing. For each tefillah, you will see your latest rating, an average of your most recent ratings (the last three tefillos), and a long-term average (the last ten tefillos). Any values which cannot yet be calculated will be blank. For example, until you've evaluated Mincha three times, there will be no value in the "recent" field.

An "Overall Kavanah Score" will display the average of your Recent kavanah scores, or an average of your Long Term scores, if available.

Once you've been rating your kavanah for a few days, you can click the "Recommendations" button to find personalized recommendations on how you can improve your kavanah, based on your past performance. In order to see a personalized recommendation, you must have evaluated yourself for each tefillah three times. The recommendation takes into account a number of factors to provide you with an individualized suggestions to help you improve your kavanah.

Installation:

Windows:

  1. Download the Windows Program to your computer
  2. Unzip the file on your computer to the directory of your choice.
  3. In the directory you downloaded the program, double-click on the setup.exe file.
  4. Follow the directions displayed. The setup program may need to download additional files if you haven't downloaded any programs similar to this before. Security warning may appear in the process of installing the program; this is normal, and there is no problem with allowing the installation to continue.
  5. The program can be run through your Start menu just like any other program.

** If you get any errors in installing the program, and you're using Firefox, use Internet Explorer instead to download the program, save it onto your computer, then run the setup program from where you've downloaded it. Trying to install the program directly from Firefox, or directly from within an unzipping program (e.g. Winzip) may cause installation errors.

Palm OS

  • Download the Palm program to your computer. If you have any problems downloading the program from this link, email Yosi [at] FishkinMD [dot] com to request a copy be emailed to you.
  • The zipfile file size is 72k, the unzipped file is 185k and the program will take up about 205k on your device.
  • Install the program the same way you install all palm programs - unzip the file, double-click on the program name, and the program should automatically get installed on your next hot-sync.
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: The very first time you run the program, there will be a pause for a few seconds as the program sets itself up. This is normal, and only happens the first time you run the program.

Feedback/Questions

If you have any further questions, or comments, about this program, send us a message.