Festival Prayers: Ata Vichartanu Kavanot: Shavuot Mincha

Jun 6th, 2011 by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Prayer
“You have chosen us from all the peoples; You loved us and found favor in us; You exalted us above all the tongues and You sanctified us with Your commandments. You drew us close, our King, to Your service and proclaimed Your great and Holy Name upon us.”

Kavanot Shavuot Mincha:

You have chosen us from all the peoples;

Based on (Abudirham), “I have loved you with an eternal love, therefore I have extended kindness to you (Jeremiah 31:2).” The Children of Israel first had to experience God’s Eternal Love through His constant care of them with the clouds, water and Manna and all the miracles, before He brought them to Sinai, so that they would experience Sinai, God’s choosing Israel to receive Torah as an expression of that love. (Ramchal; Nach)

Kavanah: “May we experience Your love for us each time we study Torah as we did at Sinai as an expression of Your eternal love for us.” [This also can be used as a Kavanah for the blessing of Ahavat Olam just before Shemah]


You loved us and found favor in us;

Based on (Abudirham), “For God favors, Rotzeh, His people; He adorns the humble with salvation (Psalms 149:4).” God’s favor can be found in the constant Salvation in creation, but is discovered only in those adorned with it; the humble. (Kozhnitzer Maggid; Toledot Yitzchak)

Kavanah: “We acknowledge that we live in a world of salvation (Matzmiach keren Yeshu’a) and we commit ourselves to living with humility so that the salavation may be seen adorning us.”


You exalted us above all the tongues,

Based on (Rabbeinu Yehudah ben Yakar), “You alone did I know from all the families of the earth; therefore I will hold you to account for all your iniquities (Amos 3:2).”

“Know” is an expression of love and connection. Because I love you so much, I will not directly punish you but will “hold you to account,” and have you repair your iniquities. (Panim Yafot; Mishpatim)

“Did I know,” is an expression of deep felt love, for all your actions influence the Highest Heavens for good and not yet good, something I did not grant the other families of the earth. (Yaker MiPaz; Shemot)

Kavanah: “We acknowledge Your great and passionate love for us that allows our actions to influence the Upper Worlds, and we commit to repair any damage caused by our errors.”


You sanctified us with Your commandments.

You drew us close, our King, to Your service

Based on (Rabbeinu Yehudah ben Yakar), “Praises to the one whom You choose and draw near to dwell in Your courts; may we be sated with the goodness of Your House, the holiest part of Your Sanctuary (Psalms 65:3).”

You chose Abraham, although You did not bring him close. You brought Jacob, Moshe, David, Yitro, and Rachav close, although you did not choose them. We praise God for the fact that He both chose us and brought us close to His service! (Tanchumah; Re’ei)

Kavanah: “We rejoice in both our being chosen and brought close to Your service as expressed by the Mitzvot You gave us to attach to You.”


Proclaimed Your great and Holy Name upon us.

Based on (Abudirham), “God, Master of Legions, will become exalted through judgment, and the Holy Power will be sanctified through justice – Tzeddaka (Isaiah 5:16).” Even as the Holy One, Blessed is He, acts in judgment against the nations, He is sanctified by the Tzeddaka He manifests to Israel, which in turn expresses that God chose us, loves us, desires us, exalts us, sanctifies us, brings us close to Him, and demonstrates that His Holy Name is called upon us. (Shem MiShmuel; Kedoshim 5676)

Kavanah: “Please act only through Your Attribute of Tzeddaka so that all will see Your Name called upon us as an expression of Your Choice, Love…..”

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