In the recent presentation of new initiatives at the 92nd National Convention of Agudath Israel of America, a common theme was reiterated throughout the suggested programs: Klal Yisroel is striving for inspiration. We are seeking ways to connect with the Ribono Shel Olam, to rekindle our emunah, and to reignite our passion for Yiddishkeit. Born out of the call for the next great initiative, came a simple yet revolutionary concept: a five minute solution which can transform and empower every Yid.
While the Lefkowitz Leadership Initiative’s session at the recent Convention was the impetus, the concept of “Empower Your Tefillah” was adopted by an “agudah” of organizations – Agudath Israel of America, The Vani Tefillah Foundation, Hakhel and Yeshiva Ateres Shimon. “Empower Your Tefillah” is a short daily email seder with a message containing inspirational ideas, explanations of the tefilos, and practical applications to enhance our davening.
There is no question that a short learning seder has tremendous value. In the great mussar yeshiva of Kelm, there was a five minute learning seder instituted prior to Mincha. The dedicated talmidim experienced the opportunity to achieve great strides in Avodas Hashem, as each daily lesson seder added up to create a powerful limud.
The goal of the new program aims to reachfar beyond a five minute lesson. “Empower Your Tefillah” is designed to create a wave of inspiration which will spill over to every aspect of daily living. The lessons have the power to transform a daily ritual, which may be done by rote, into a chance to truly connect with the Ribono Shel Olam.
Rabbi Shai Markowitz, Director of the Lefkowitz Leadership Initiative of Agudath Israel, predicts that the overflow success of empowering our Tefillos can affect all aspects of our lives. “A more powerful davening brings one closer to Hashem and strengthens emunah. Stronger emunah then helps to bring passion and joy to Torah and mitzvos. The positive results are boundless,” says Rabbi Markowitz.
Phase 1 of “Empower Your Tefillah” will be email messages based on Rabbi Heshy Kleinman’s bestselling book and program Praying with Fire and Praying with Passion. “Everyone needs Tefillah in order to succeed in this world,” says Rabbi Kleinman. “This is a wonderful opportunity to develop your Tefillah, by understanding the fundamental concepts in a way that is meaningful and motivating.” The next phase for “Empower Your Tefillah” will include a special kids program and reaching out to Rabbanim and shuls.
An additional factor, explained Motty Hellman, who presented the concept at the Agudah convention, is that all of Klal Yisroel will be focusing on a single aspect of tefillah at the same time. “When men, women and children are all working together on their kavanah, it creates a systematic surge of inspiration.” Similar to the Daf Yomi concept, which unites Yidden around the world on a single daf, “Empower Your Tefilah” hopes to unite and inspire Yidden with a single, coordinated message every day.
Yeshiva Ateres Shimon currently runs a successful email program which transmits dozens of educational and inspirational emails every week. Feedback from their email programs testifies to the success of these bite-sized messages of inspiration. Yeshiva Ateres Shimon has close to 10,000 people who are receiving daily inspirational emails, and has received very positive feedback from them.
The Empower Your Tefillah program is just one of the four new initiatives which Agudath Israel plans to roll out in the coming months. With the enthusiastic involvement of grassroots participants, Agudah is bringing the next great initiative for Klal Yisroel to fruition. To join the thousands who are empowering their tefillah and reigniting their passion for Yiddishkiet, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://bit.ly/