What Is Daven?

  • Daven (Hebrew: תפלה – “Tefilah”) (Yiddish: דאווענן – “Davenen”) – Turning towards, coming closer and attaching ourselves to our Maker. This is a service of our maker and a pillar of the world. It is an understanding of the reason for creation and the purpose of our existence. It is a rectification of the world and brings the world to goodness. It is to be done for heaven’s sake. It is our reaction to worries, problems, and suffering. It is done for ourselves and it is done for others.
  • The Jewish concept is very nuanced. Our Davening becomes the pipeline – the conduit – through which the Shefa (abundance or bounty) comes into the world. We, through our Davening, become the bridge between the world around us and the highest heights on high.
  • There are many reasons for Davening: Refuah Shleima – Healing the sick and suffering – whether physically, psychologically, spiritually; Shiduchim – A good and proper spouse, happy marriage; Shalom Bayit – Peace and tranquility in the home and family; Shalom – Peace and tranquility in the world; Shalom Al Yisrael – Peace be upon the Jewish people wherever they are and especially in the land of Israel; Zerah Kayma – Babies and children who will live and grow properly; Gidul Banim – To raise one’s children properly; Parnasa – Livelihood, a job, successful investments; Hatzlacha – Success in life for others or ourselves; Talmud Torah – Torah learning, understanding, retention; Limudei Chol – Success in secular subjects as a means for obtaining a good job and livelihood; Chavruta – Friends and colleagues to learn with, grow with, and share life; Emunah Temima – A completem, simple belief and trust in Hashem; Bitachon – To develop that trust even more until we lean upon and rely on Hashem in a practical fashion (Hashem-assurance); Bitachon Atzmi – Self-assurance;  Chayim -Life, health, and longevity; Hagana – Security for ourselves, family, loved ones, the land of Israel, in the world at large;
  • In English the concept has many names with there own denotation and connotation: abound, abuse, accost, account, address, adjuration, adjure, adoration, adulation, advance, advocate, allure, ambition, angle, answer, adoration, anticipate, anticipation, appeal, application, apply, approach, arrogate, arrogation, ask, asking, aspiration, aspire, assent, assume, attention, attestation, attract, ave, await, awe, badger, ballot, be sure of, beatification, befalling, beg, begging, believe, benediction, beseech, beset, besiege, bespeak, bid, bite, blandish, brace, break, breviary, bring on, bum, cadge, cajole , call, canon, canvass, catalogue, challenge, chapel, charge, cherish, choice, cite, claim, clamor, coax, coerce, come, command, commercial, communion, compel, con, conjure, connection, consensus, constrain, contemplate, contend for, contest, contingency, convenience, cop a plea, count on, countenance, counterclaim, court, courtship, crave, crawl, cry for, cut, deem likely, deification, demand, depend on, desire, devotion, direct, disposition, draw, drum, dun, egg on, encourage, enjoin, entice, entreat, entreatment, entreaty, enumeration, evensong, event, exact, exaction, exaltation, excuse, exhort, exhortation, expect, fair shake, feel confident, fighting chance, file, for, fitness, fling, force, foresee, fortuity, franchise, freedom, genuflection, give invitation, glorification, glory, go, good fortune, good luck, goose, grace, hang in, hankering, happening, harass, have faith, have in, have over, hawk, hit, hit on, hit up, hold, hold out for, homage, honor, honoring, hope, hound, hour, hunger, hustle, idolization, impetrate (impetration), imploration, implore, importune, importunity, impose, imposition, imprecation, inclination, include, inquire, inquiry, insist, insistence, intention, intercession, interest, interrogate, interrogation, intervention, inveigle, invitation, invite, invocate, invocation, invoke, iron in the fire, issue, itch, jostle, juncture, knock, laudation, lead, lectionary, leisure, levy, liberty, lien, liking, list, litany, liturgy, longing, look, love, lure, make up for, mediation, memorial, minister, missal, moment, mooch, morality, nag, necessitate, necessity, need, oblige, obsecrate (obsecration), observance, obtest, occasion, offer, offering, one’s move, one’s say, one’s turn, opening, opportunity, order, orison, overture, panhandle, pass, peddle, persuade, pester, petition, piety, plague, plea, plead, pleasure, ply, possibility, postulate, praise, pray, prayer, preference, press, presume, presumption, prevail, probability, promise, promote, proposal, propose, proposition, prospect, prostration, provoke, psalm, psalter, pursuit, put, query, question, recitation, recite, recourse, refer, refrain, regard, relief, rely, repetition, request, require, requirement, requisition, resort, respect, reverence, right, rite, ritual, rogation, room, round robin, run, rush, sacrifice, sale, sanctification, say, scope, scripture, search, sect, seduce, seek, sell, send, service, shot, show, solicit, space, spell, spirituality, sponge, square things, squeak, stab, steer, stipulate, stipulation, strike, submission, submit, sue, suffrage, suggest, suit, summon, supplicate, supplication, suppose, surmise, suspect, sweat, take heart, tale, tax, tempt, testimony, the hunt, the running, think to, thirst, time, toll, touch, tout, ,trade, trust, turn, ultimatum, urge, use, vamp, veneration, vespers, vogue, voice, vote, want, watch for, welcome, whack, wheedle, whim, whistle for, will, wish, woo, work on, worry, worship, xenagogue, xesturgy, yearn, yen, zero in on, zeal.