Locus, Focus and Davening

The core of Jewish liturgy is davening - the recitation and performance of Jewish prayers. With my class at JTS we now are exploring the ancillary aspects of the rituals, namely the places of davening, synagogues, and the states of mind associated with davening, namely kavvanah, forms of concentration.

This raises a question: to what degree are locus and focus ancillary and in what respects are they part of the core of the process of davening?

And more interesting. There are a variety of visions of the function of locus and focus at work in the system of davening.

Once you start to look for them, you see in the world of liturgy the distinctive conceptions of the minds of the various distinctive archetypes of the minyan of daveners.

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