Written by the Rav ZTZ”L for Vayeitze 5770
If your mind wandered during the first b’rachah of Shemonah Essray, and you have done what has been discussed in previous weeks, you should, nevertheless, see to it to have special concentration by the b’rachah of “modim.” Many poskim hold that modim has the same kavvana status as the first b’rachah (i.e., that special concentration is needed) because these 2 b’rachos, in particular, state the praises of HaShem.
It should go without saying that the Halachos regarding Tefillah apply equally to men and to women (unless stated otherwise).
One may not bring the following items into a shul: bicycles, travel suitcases, strollers, etc., unless absolutely necessary. Besides the din itself, one should always remain mindful of the lesson that it imparts regarding Kedushas Beis K’nesses and Beis Medrash.