Kavanah Kards, begun in 2014, has distributed more than 70,000 Kavanah Kards to 8 countries around the world, and more than 200 people visit the KavanahKards.com website every week!.
In addition to cards to improving focus when davening, there is the Service of Hashem card, inspiring people to dedicate everyday actions for their good health or well-being to be able to serve Hashem. Also there is the Kavana of Mitzvohs card, based on the sefer K'asher Tzivah Hashem by Rabbi Daniel Garfinkel--on the little-known and little done halacha in Shulchan Aruch (Oruch Chaim simen samech) of having the intention before doing any mitzvah to do it "as Hashem commanded".
Kavanah Kards and Kavana of Mitzvohs cards are the base of the Mindful Mitzvahs Campaign--an initiative to encourage people to do at least one mindful mitzvah and make at least one mindful bracha a day for 40 days at their level of comfort. Another step is thanking Hashem 5-10 minutes a day for the things we don't want in our lives. This is from the sefer "Say Thank-you and See Miracles", by Rabbi Shalom Arush.
The value of Mindful Mitzvahs to create greater positive connection of children to Hashem and to establish proper Kavanah with mitzvahs and davening is enormous. Dozens of schools and teachers worldwide have gotten them to use for teaching about kavanah and for special school programs and projects. As many as a thousand at one time have been sent to a single school!
Wonderful articles and a kid’s fiction story based on a true story about Kavanah Kards have appeared in Mishpacha Junior and Binyan magazines. They are all on the website.
Heartfelt notes and emails of thanks come from all over the world with accounts of how much people's tefillahs and lives have improved, baruch Hashem! The project has a bracha from Rabbi Kenievsky for 'hatzlacha”. Rav Gamliel Rabinowtz blessed that they should be spread all over the world.
Today our cards and materials are available in English, Hebrew & Yiddish; French versions are now being done. They have also been requested in Russian and Spanish, and will be done as soon as we are able.
Please see below for a list of Kabolas which you may like to work on. Thank you for the submission and we welcome all feedback as well as new submissions.
Kaboloh to take on for this week Bli Neder. [These are suggestions that can be adapted towards ones personal circumstances]. These should be done in private where possible without anyone knowing. Just once a day is fine.
They can be continued longer if possible!
1] To say at least one Birchas Asher Yotzer per day standing still and thinking about the miracle of our good health. This can be done for the zechus of a choleh.
2] To do something for some one else secretly eg –clear something away/ wash up something.
3] Do something for Hashem only –not for any other reason, for yourself or anyone’s approval etc.
4] When you are about to finish a learning session –keep the sefer open for a few more seconds –learn a few words extra/ mentally review what was learnt /think how it can be brought into practice.
5] Alacrity -Set alarm clock 1 minute earlier and try and waste less time at night to get to sleep 1 minute earlier.
6] Contemplate for 5 seconds before davening /learning that we are going to talk directly to Hashem/ hear what He is telling us when we learn. Contemplate the universal impact it can have.
7] To be on time [even early!] for something eg davening /learning /a meeting/ an event. Show respect for the thing/ the person/ organisers .
8] Before starting ones day say –“anything I do today that makes someone’s life easier should be a fulfillment of the mitzvah of “v’ohavtoh leraichoh lkemochoh””
9] Say a brocho inside that you don’t normally say from a text.
10] Choose someone and think about their positive traits/ something positive about a situation. And if appropriate verbalise it.
11] Say in private –“I love You Hashem”.
12] Think about the concept of Eyn Od Milvado. Think about H’s presence here now in this room.
13] Refrain from saying something unnecessary that you thought to say –take control of your speech.
14] Think about Neiloh for a few seconds before an “ordinary” davening.
15] Put seforim back in Shul /Beis Midrash –yours and some others too.
16] Not to talk throughout a tefila –or if that is obvious- during the entire time in shul.
17] Give something to tzedoko every day
18] Smile at someone.
19] Say a brocho out loud so someone can say omen
20] Thank Hashem for a small kindness that you may normally take for granted
21] Say an ad hoc small tefilla for yourself or someone else outside of normal davening time.
22] Resolve to accept any criticism you receive as a message from Hashem to improve in some way rather than becoming defensive.
23] Resolve to accept inconvenience/ difficulty/adversity with equanimity –as a kaporoh.
24] Before doing a mitzvah contemplate: Hashem – who sees throughout time and is aware of every “future” instance of fulfillment of this command -asked me personally to do this mitzvah for Him!
25] Be mevater –don’t stand up for your rights /give in to avoid an argument.
26] Self control –refrain from eating or drinking one item if possible [eg second helping when you don’t really need it!]
27] Spend a few extra positive moments with spouse/children
28] Refrain from talking for first half hour [to start with!] of learning session.
29] Give someone a compliment or words of encouragement
30] Say Omen .. Yehey Shmei Raboh with full kavono taking seriously the Chazal which says that this can annul 70years of bad decrees.
31] Focus on something nice that somebody else has and be happy for them, thinking about a positive aspect of their personality/ actions that may make them deserving of that thing.
32] When making a Brocho on food have in mind that Hashem has specifically created and delivered this item to you – appreciate it!
33] Call someone who may appreciate it to enquire of their welfare etc.
34] Spend a minute thinking about Yerushalayim in Temple times –the tangible Divine presence, prophets freely accessible, nobility and kedusha in every house. Think about what we are lacking.
35] Spend a minute thinking over what happened yesterday. Did I behave appropriately, anything I can fix?
A man once pleaded with the Almighty to bestow a bit of abundance upon him. After all, the poor soul figured, G-d had an abundance of everything; why, then, shouldn't He spare something for a Jew in need? He entered an empty synagogue and began to cry.
"Ribono Shel Olam," he cried, "in the great extent of Your eternity, what is a million years?"
"To Me a million years is just a mere second!" boomed a voice inside his mind.
The man continued. "And," he pleaded, "next to Your great bounty, what, may I ask, is a billion dollars?"
"A billion dollars is a mere penny," came the resonating reply.
"Then," begged the man, "please grant me just one of your pennies!"
"Sure!" came the response. "Just wait a second!"
One doesn't need to be a baal mussar to understand the value of an instant of time. Use your time well!
A man owns a jewellery store in Eretz Yisroel. One day a 9 year old girl walks into the shop and says, "I am here to buy a bracelet". She looks through the glass cases and points to a bracelet that is worth nearly $5,000. The man behind the counter asks her, "You want to buy that bracelet?" And she says, "Yes." He says, "Wow, you have very good taste. Who do you want to buy it for?" She says, "For my older sister." He says, "Wow, that is so nice! Why do you want to buy your older sister this bracelet?" The little girl says, "Because I don't have a mother or father and my older sister takes care of us. So we want to buy her a present and I'm willing to pay for it." She pulls out of her pocket a whole bunch of coins that totalled 7 shekel, 80 agurot. The man says, "Wow! That is exactly what the bracelet costs." He wraps up the bracelet and says, "You write a card to your sister while I wrap this bracelet." In a short amount of time, he finishes wrapping the bracelet, he wipes away his tears and hands the little girl the bracelet.
A few hours later, the older sister comes in and says, "I'm so embarrassed. My sister should not have come here and taken something without paying." He says to her, "What are you talking about?" She says, "What do you mean? This bracelet costs thousands of dollars. My little sister doesn't even have $10. She obviously didn't pay for it!" The man who owns the jewellery store says, "You couldn't be more wrong. She paid me in full. She paid with her heart!"
We come to Hashem and we want life which is very expensive. We cannot afford it as we don't have enough zechusim. So we empty our pockets to Hashem with what? A kabala here and a kabala there, "I'll pick up the phone to call someone who's lonely, I will learn an extra 5 minutes mussar, I will be kind, I won't speak loshon hora for 2 hours, something small." And Hashem sees how much we are willing to do and how much we love Him and He says, "You have touched My heart. Here it is, paid in full."