Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

At the risk of being a guessing-game, I thought I'd read that before starting prayers (the beginning? The Amida?), one should take a minute to think about love for fellow Jews.

Any source for this?

share|improve this question
2  
I'm pretty sure I saw this in the book Praying with Fire, which documents its sources in footnotes. I'll check when I'm home if someone else doesn't do so first. –  Isaac Moses Oct 12 '12 at 15:38
2  
... or actually, it may have been a card/pamphlet with something like "seven strategies to improve your davening" that I once received. I don't remember who made it. I may still have it somewhere. If I can find it, I'll update here. –  Isaac Moses Oct 12 '12 at 15:46

3 Answers 3

up vote 9 down vote accepted

According to this collection of notes on the siddur arranged by Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi -- http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=30450&st=&pgnum=122 -- the source is Pri Eitz Hayyim, Sha'ar Olam Ha-Assiyah, end of perek alef, which was then mentioned by the Magen Avraham, beginning of siman mem vav.

Pri Eitz Hayyim is a book by Rabbi Hayyim Vital that presents Rabbi Isaac Luria's system of 'kavvanot', i.e., intentions, to be performed in the mind as one prays. The Magen Avraham is a commentary on the Shulhan Arukh who often takes note of Kabbalistic practices. So, the source is in the Kabbalah of the Ari.

One therefore often sees a statement "I hereby take upon myself the positive mitzvah of 'love thy neighbour as thyself'", meant to be recited aloud, pre-pended to the beginning of Shaharit, in prayer books that have been influenced by Kabbalah.

share|improve this answer
    
it is of interest to note that it is also cited in the nefesh hachayim –  user1668 Oct 12 '12 at 15:30

Apart from the sources in paquda's answer, the Chayei Adam (1:6) also says that you should accept upon yourself to love every Jew in order to be included as part of the group of all of Israel.

share|improve this answer

Ben Ish Hai,Shana Rishona, Miqes 5. And it's before the entire prayer.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.