Questions about the various prayer books used by Jews, and the prayers contained therein.

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16
votes
2answers
725 views

Nun in Ashrei- Psalm 145

The prayer Ashrei, which we recite three times a day, is an acrostic consisting of all the letters of the Hebrew alphabet except for nun (נ). Why is the nun omitted?
13
votes
6answers
359 views

Why are there colored splotches on the pages on many Jewish texts?

On many editions of the Chumash, Talmud, and even many more-modern books, you look at the side of the book (opposite the spine) and there are random colored splotches printed on the pages. (For ...
13
votes
1answer
260 views

Is there a Beta Israel Siddur?

Ashkenazi siddurs are different from Sephardic siddurs, do Beta Israel Siddurs even exist?
12
votes
6answers
640 views

Which Chasidic group departed the least from Ashkenazi minhag and nusach?

Chasidic groups vary in terms of their siddur's differences from nusach Ashkenaz, as well as their general minhagim and hashkafic approaches. Is there a Chasidic group which most closely matches the ...
12
votes
4answers
259 views

How do we know what the Chazzan should say aloud?

In many siddurim, the text indicates a position, toward the end of each normal paragraph of prayer, where the Chazzan is supposed to start reading aloud, so that everyone knows when it's time to go on ...
12
votes
7answers
544 views

Which parts of the prayer service must be said clearly out loud?

I've heard a few different opinions on this. During longer prayer services, such as Shacharit on Shabbat, at least in Nusach Sefard, Pesukei D'Zimrah is quite long and there is a tendency for the ...
11
votes
2answers
175 views

saying “יתברך” when the שליח צבור says “ברכו”

The Artscroll סדורים (prayer books) — "Ashkenaz" and "Sefard" editions, Hebrew-English and Hebrew-only editions, at the morning and evening prayers for holidays, Saturdays, and weekdays — indicate ...
11
votes
3answers
260 views

Who distributed the zemiros across the three meals?

Any book of zemiros whether it's a siddur, birchon, or what have you divides the zemiros between the three meals. Sometimes the rationale is obvious as with the tikkunim which are written for each ...
10
votes
3answers
195 views

Why do siddurim and Shulchan Oruch OC start with Shacharis?

Why do siddurim and Shulchan Oruch OC start with the morning? Since the day starts with night, they should start with Maariv as does the mishnah.
10
votes
4answers
575 views

How to learn Amidah, Shma and others?

I live 3000km from shul and take conversion classes remotely. I am learning from Koren Siddur. Because I do not ever hear how the words should be spoken, I sometimes wonder if it is a waste of time. I ...
10
votes
5answers
266 views

Where in Davening do we kiss תפילין?

It is well-known (I assume) that one should kiss his תפילין when saying וקשרתם לאות... (twice) in שמע, when saying פותח את ידך... in אשרי, and עוטר ישראל בתפארה in ברכת השחר. Most Artscroll Siddurim ...
9
votes
1answer
707 views

Why so many vocalized shvas in Siddur Tehillat Hashem?

I prayed using a Siddur Tehillat Hashem the other day, and I noticed that many more shvas were marked with an asterisk above, indicating that they should be vocalized, than I'd expect. In particular, ...
9
votes
1answer
267 views

Veshameru in Chabad siddur

Why do Chabad siddurim always print Veshameru before the Shabbat Ma'ariv Amida, even while also noting that the Chabad custom is not to say it? Are there any groups that use the Chabad Nusach Ari ...
9
votes
2answers
255 views

Why is the Machzor called a Machzor?

The Siddur we use for Yom Tov is known as a Machzor. What does it mean and where did this originate?
8
votes
1answer
137 views

The midos by which the Torah is expounded. Rabbi Eliezer the son of Rabbi Yosi haGelili's are not in the siddur. Rabbi Yishmoel's are. Why?

Rashi on Braishis 2(8) refers to the 32 midos of Rabbi Eliezer the son of Rabbi Yosi haGelili by which the Torah is expounded. These are less familiar than the 13 of Rabbi Yishmoel that we say every ...
8
votes
1answer
246 views

Dropping a phone siddur or chumash

If you have a siddur or chumash on your phone and you drop it, do you kiss it if... the siddur is not open the siddur is open, but shem hashem is not showing the siddur is open and shem Hashem is ...
8
votes
1answer
147 views

Can I keep a siddur in my wallet?

Many people have small siddurs that they use for Mincha and Marriv which they keep in their wallets. I happen to keep my wallet in my back pocket. If I pick up a siddur like this, am I able to keep it ...
8
votes
1answer
188 views

Division of Mishnayos in Pirkei Avos / Meseches Avos

In the Siddur, Pirkei Avos has a different division (in each Perek the amount of Mishnayos) than in the Mishnayos Avos. Who determined the division of the Mishnayos in the Siddur?
7
votes
2answers
143 views

Obfuscation of Mei Raglayim in translation

I have noticed that many siddurim and machzorim render the term מי רגלים (in the recitation of the k'tores recipe) as "mei raglayim" rather than translating it to its actual definition, urine. ...
7
votes
1answer
133 views

Why does Nusach Ashkenaz skip מה רבו on Shabbos?

In the birchot keriat shema of Shabbat morning, we add a number of pesukim in the beginning, and we switch the piyut of קל ברוך גדול דעה for the piyut of קל אדון. But all the pesukim said on a weekday ...
7
votes
2answers
251 views

Sefer of Ari Z''L's Changes in Tefillah

Does anyone know of a sefer that lists the Ari Z''L's changes in Tefillah? I do not mean a siddur itself (e.g. Tehillas Hashem), rather, I am referring to a book that outlines the changes preferably ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

What does “Baruch shem k'vod malchuso l'olam vaed” mean?

A sentence commonly said during prayer is "בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד". How do we interpret it? What does it mean? It sounds like it means: Blessed is/be the name of the ...
7
votes
1answer
205 views

What is the minhag followed in the Bnei Tzion Siddur?

Bnei Tzion is an Israeli siddur published in 1996 by Sinai Publishing in Tel Aviv. It's a Sephardi siddur but has some interesting variants (e.g., very similar Havdalah to Ashkenazi practice). I'm ...
7
votes
1answer
121 views

Why Is the Possuk Read Backwards?

The verse in Bereishis 49:19 states: גָּ֖ד גְּד֣וּד יְגוּדֶ֑נּוּ וְה֖וּא יָגֻ֥ד עָקֵֽב Is is the Chabad Minhag to read this verse, followed by the reverse of it, as part of Krias Shema She'al ...
7
votes
1answer
98 views

Why do we say pesukim from Hoshea after donning tefillin?

In the standard Artscroll Ashkenazik siddur, after wrapping the tefillin around one's fingers it says to say the following pesukim from Hoshea 2:21-22 וְאֵרַשְׂתִּיךְ לִי, לְעוֹלָם; ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

Text of S'lichos Online

Is there any fully digital (i.e. searchable) edition of the סליחות? Is it publicly available online?
6
votes
4answers
327 views

Seeking a German Siddur

I was wondering if there is a 'Minhag Ashkenaz' siddur presently in print. I have an older one at home, but it has sentimental value and as a university student, I would rather avoid using such a ...
6
votes
3answers
285 views

Why is Shmoneh Esreh referred to as 18 blessings when there are actually 19?

Originally Shmoneh Esreh only had 18 blessings, thus the name "Shemoneh Esreh." However, subsequently a 19th blessing was added of Velamalshinim regarding the heretics. If there are 19 blessings now, ...
6
votes
2answers
326 views

Siddur & chumash — which gets stacked on top?

I've seen this one asked over and over again, and always heard different things. Do you stack a chumash on top of a siddur, or the other way around?
6
votes
3answers
85 views

Should I close my eyes for the shmona esrei or look in the siddur?

I was taught to look in the siddur when davening. But the answer here suggests that some authorities prefer to close their eyes during the amida. What are sources for all opinions on this matter?
6
votes
4answers
436 views

What siddur do Satmerer Chasidim use?

Many Chasidic groups have a particular siddur that is used by most in that group. Does Satmer have such a siddur?
6
votes
1answer
963 views

How did the Ten Martyrs actually die?

On Yom Kippur and Tisha B'av we read about the Ten Martyrs who were gathered and killed by Emperor Hadrian to atone for the Sale of Yosef HaTzadik. In addition to the idea that the Ten Martyrs didn't ...
6
votes
1answer
144 views

“Hayom yom X b'shabas” or “bashabas”?

A sidur I used this morning had the introductory line of the shir shel yom as "hayom yom sheni b'shabas". When I checked the two sidurim I trust the most for excatitude in these matters, one had ...
6
votes
1answer
147 views

Does anyone know where this prayer comes from?

I've always been struck by the beauty of the following Hebrew prayer for the dead (translated into early modern English): O Lord and King, who art full of compassion, God of the spirits of all ...
6
votes
2answers
152 views

Why switch the reference from “גוי” to “עם” in Tachanun?

Why does the prayer "Shomer Yisra'el" in Tachanun say in two of the verses the word גוי in the first and last phrase, but עם in the middle phrase? שומר גוי אחד שמור שארית עם אחד ואל יאבד גוי אחד ...
6
votes
2answers
119 views

Insertions in shma koleinu

The Artscroll siddur offers two insertions that one can add to the bracha of shma koleinu every day, one asking forgiveness for sin and the other asking for livelihood. What are the sources for these ...
6
votes
1answer
107 views

Why Doesn't Rasag Mention “Modim D'Rabbanan” As Part Of Tefillah?

In his siddur, Rav Sa`adya haGaon (Rasa"g) explains in practical detail the various tefilloth be-ssibur (prayers performed with a congregation) and never mentions or gives the text for 'Modhim ...
6
votes
1answer
139 views

“Nahhat Ruahh l'Yotzro” source

At the end of מוסף לשבת in דרכי אבות השלם (p. 375), a quotation is written in the name of רבי יהודה: אמר רבי יהודה: אשרי מי שעמלו בתורה ועושה נחת רוח ליוצרו Can anyone help me find the exact ...
6
votes
0answers
79 views

What is the source of the 'elu devarim' text printed in siddurim?

The girsa of the 'elu devarim' text that appears in many siddurim after birkot hatorah cannot be sourced, so far as I can tell, to any particular rabbinic text. Here's the version that appears in ...
6
votes
0answers
77 views

What in a siddur can be changed?

There are many different editions of siddurim with many commonalities but also many differences, see here for discussion on MY. Also different communities use different siddurim to match their ...
6
votes
0answers
87 views

Why Doesn't Rasag Mention Olives In The Five Fruits From Eretz Yisrael?

In his siddur, Rav Sa`adya haGaon (Rasa"g) mentions only four of the five species of peroth ha-ilan which are special to Eress Yisrael, leaving out zethim ("olives"). He does so in two places. ...
6
votes
0answers
73 views

Chazzan finishing last phrase of paragraph [duplicate]

Who decided where to put that indicator in printed siddurim that you see in every paragraph of davening that indicates to the chazzan where to start to read out loud to finish the paragraph, and why ...
5
votes
2answers
97 views

TOras chayim or ToRAS chayim in 19th b'racha?

In the final b'racha of sh'monah esrei the phrase "תורת חיים - (Toras chayim)" appears. In some sidurim [that denote that kind of thing] the accent is placed on the first syllable and in others on the ...
5
votes
1answer
109 views

If the “ten martyrs” didn't happen together, did the punishment-for-Joseph story happen? When?

It's commonly believed that the "ten martyrs" didn't all live in the same time period, and the description of them as a group is conceptual, not historical. Now the story opens with a Roman ruler ...
5
votes
2answers
211 views

Where can I find a machzor for people who aren't fluent in prayer?

My Reform congregation is currently considering buying the forthcoming Mishkan Hanefesh machzor. I've reviewed (and led services from) drafts of this publication and, while it is an improvement over ...
5
votes
1answer
164 views

Davening from an electronic device?

I have been davening from my ipad using a pdf copy of a siddur I downloaded. However, I wanted to know if this is a suitable alternative for those times when the use of electronic devices is ...
5
votes
1answer
38 views

“Uvesorascha kasuv lemor shema Yisrael…” before Yishtabach

Some siddurim have the following phrase in between "ושמו אחד" and "ישתבח": ובתורתך כתוב לאמר שמע ישראל ה׳ אלקינו ה׳ אחד "And in Your Torah it is written to say Shema Yisrael Hashem Elokeinu Hashem ...
5
votes
1answer
451 views

Does anyone pray according to Rambam's Seder Tefila?

I wonder if among the new wave of Talmidei haRambam, there might be anyone using a siddur that uses Rambam's language of prayer exclusively, as recorded in the Mishneh Torah (here).
5
votes
2answers
100 views

Which parts of Shacharit are skippable, optional, or not universally recited? [closed]

A newcomer to traditional Jewish prayer is often confused or overwhelmed by modern siddurim, in particular those of Artscroll, which contain a number of prayers that are required, and not said by most ...
5
votes
2answers
184 views

Why haven't I seen the Havinenu prayer in Sidurs?

I was reviewing recently Rambam's laws of prayers and ran across this ( הלכות תפילה פרק ב,ב ): בכל תפילה משלוש תפילות אלו שבכל יום, מתפלל אדם תשע עשרה ברכות אלו על הסדר. במה דברים אמורים, ...