Questions about Jewish prayer (the fixed order of typically-thrice-daily prayers, or prayer generally).

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4
votes
1answer
627 views

Mashiv HaRuach - V'Sain (veten) Tal Umatar

Why do we start saying Mashiv HaRuach on Shemini Atzeres yet we do not say V'Sain Tal Umatar until Dec 4 / Dec 5 (In Chutz L'Aretz)? Why should they not be on the same day when they are similar ...
12
votes
1answer
682 views

Praying for rain in the Diaspora

Why on this year (and on other years that precede civil leap years) do we start praying for rain in the Diaspora (by inserting the phrase 'Vetein tal umatar") at maariv of December 5 and not maariv of ...
11
votes
2answers
368 views

What is a woman's obligation when it comes to T'fillah?

In Orthodox practice it is commonly thought that women are not obligated in T'fillah (parts of it anyway) due to its time-bound nature. However, what is a woman's obligation? Which prayers must she ...
5
votes
2answers
185 views

Shirei zimra in Yishtabach

At the end of Yishtabach, Hashem is referred to as הבוחר בשירי זמרה. This is usually translated as "who chooses songs of praise." However, as far as I am aware zimra means song, not praise. So how can ...
7
votes
1answer
662 views

Why “new-mother bat her-father” for a woman who gives birth?

When we pray for the healing (refuah) of a woman or girl, we refer to her as "(patient's name) bat (patient's mother's name)", for example "Shoshana bat Michal" or "Rivka bat Shifra Aviva". This is ...
7
votes
1answer
144 views

When is “vesain tal umotor” said in Australia?

When is "vesain tal umotor" said in the Southern Hemisphere eg Australia?
5
votes
2answers
172 views

Which tefilot you say when your minhag differs from that of the shoul your praying in?

Here is the case: This past Sabbath, at an ashkanazi synagogue, a sephardi comes to pray. This is the synagogue that he normally attends (there are about 20 within 1 sq mile). He prays with the ...
2
votes
2answers
112 views

Responding to kaddish in pesukei dezimro

If I am saying pesukei dezimro, I can only make some responses to kaddish (Tefillo Kehilchoso, 10 (50)). OC 51 (4) [8] and Biur Halocho d.h. tzorich refer to this but do not specify the permitted ...
7
votes
1answer
94 views

Why is Amen exclusive to the Chazzan during Tefillah?

Normally, if I hear my good friend Shimon say a bracha, I answer Amen. Nonetheless, if it's during davening, and I hear him finish a bracha, it appears to be common practice to not say Amen. In other ...
5
votes
1answer
148 views

Why is Hashkiveinu different?

Normally, if me and my good friend Shimon complete (finish) a Bracha at the same time, I may not say Amen after his bracha. However, if I recall correctly, an exception to this is made by the bracha ...
11
votes
1answer
348 views

Silent Amidah when praying without a minyan

If one is davening b'yichidut (praying by oneself), without a minyan, do they need to say the amidah silently or can they say it out loud? Phrased another way, what is the reason for praying the ...
13
votes
3answers
224 views

Can I omit ברוך השם לעולם אמן ואמן to catch up in Maariv?

If the Shaliach Tzibbur for maariv (outside of Israel) goes too quickly for me to start the Amidah with him, is there a source which would allow me to omit the section ברוך השם לעולם אמן ואמן? This ...
4
votes
3answers
229 views

Who is the object in Lecha Dodi?

The chorus and multiple verses of Lecha Dodi address a female second person - "Beloved." Who is it? In the final verse, the object is presumably the Shabbat Queen, since we end with "Come O Bride! ...
6
votes
2answers
357 views

Is repeating the chorus in Lecha Dodi problematic?

Some tunes for Lecha Dodi are conducive to repeating the chorus ("Lecha dodi ...") twice each time. I've noticed that some people, when using one of these tunes, repeat, while others avoid repeating ...
3
votes
1answer
115 views

Parts of Shabbos prayers sung out loud

Many synagogues sing Kel Odon and Mimkomcho on Shabbos morning. Why are these two the most commonly sung parts of the Shabbos morning Tefila?
8
votes
2answers
212 views

Davening with a Minyan

Would someone explain the requirements to daven (pray) in a minyan, when the minyan is needed and what can't one do absent a minyan? Where can I confirm this? Thanks.
8
votes
2answers
112 views

If one hand gets dirty, do both require washing?

I'm in middle of davening, and scratch a usually-covered place using my little finger (pinky) on my right hand. This requires me to wash my hand before continuing. Do I have to: wash both my hands? ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

When do we say Baruch Hu Uvaruch Shemo?

I'm somewhat confused on when Baruch Hu Uvaruch Shemo (ברוך הוא וברוך שמו) should be said after Hashem's name in a B'racha (I'm taking for granted that it is only said in the context of a bracha, but ...
7
votes
2answers
146 views

Why didn't Noach Pray for his generation like Avraham did for Sodom

Why didn't Noach Daven to save his generation like Avraham Davened for Sodom?
13
votes
4answers
830 views

Why “Lach” not “Lecha” in “Modim Anachnu Lach”

Could someone please explain why the "Lach" in Modim Anachnu Lach is not "Lecha"... I guess this is some grammatical point rather than the use of the feminime "you"?
4
votes
1answer
71 views

Why do we say “Shmini Atzeres Hachag Hazeh”?

On all Yomim Tovim we say "Chag Hassukos Hazeh" or "Chag Hamatzos Hazeh" but on Shmini Atzeres/Simchas Torah we say "Shmini Atzeres Hachag Hazeh" going in a different order. Why do we change the order ...
9
votes
1answer
110 views

Why summarize m'nachos in musaf?

In every musaf prayer service, we read an excerpt from Bamidbar delineating the musaf animal sacrifices of the day. While each day's passage in Bamidbar includes also a description of the flour and ...
4
votes
1answer
258 views

Why daven ke-vasikin on Hoshana Rabbah?

I know that some people specifically daven ke-vasikin on Hoshana Rabbah. Is this only because they stayed awake all night and thus want to daven as early as possible, or is there a more direct and ...
4
votes
1answer
80 views

Order of punishments/responsibilities in viduy

In the viduy (confession) of Yom Kipur, we confess, and beg for forgiveness for, sins for which we're liable for a sacrificial offering: ola, chatas, ole v'yored, and asham; lashes prescribed by ...
4
votes
1answer
170 views

Who wrote the piyutim of Rosh Hashana/Yom Kippur?

I don't know if they are technically called "piyutim", but there is a nusach we say on Rosh Hashana/Yom Kippur between "Ata Kadosh" to "Hamelech Hakadosh". Was that decreed by the Anshei Knesses ...
6
votes
2answers
189 views

Avinu Malkienu on Shabbos

Why do we not say Avinu Malkienu on Shabbos and why is the Teffilah of Neilah the exception to this very rule?
8
votes
1answer
120 views

Why is Ein Kelokeinu not said on Yom Kippur?

Ein Kelokeinu isn't in my Yom Kippur Machzor, and as far as I can recall, it is not said in Shul after Musaf [or any time, for that matter]. Why is this so?
4
votes
1answer
78 views

Why dictate Birchas Kohanim, but not the Bracha before?

In Birchas Kohanim, the Chazzan says each word of the actual Birchas Kohanim and the Kohanim repeat after him. On the other hand, when it comes to the bracha that's said before Birchas Kohanim, the ...
12
votes
1answer
214 views

Why do non-orphans leave during Yizkor?

In all the Shuls (Synagogues) I've Davened in over the years, I noticed that all those whose parents are alive leave the shul during Yizkor. Why is this so?
4
votes
1answer
80 views

Why say tachanun in selichos but not in davenning when say a sandek is in Shul?

If someone (eg sandek, mohel) is in Shul (the synagogue) whose presence stops the kehillo (congregation) saying tachanun, why is it that we do say tachanun in Selichos but not in davenning (the prayer ...
2
votes
1answer
320 views

On days when Kohanim Duchan, why do the Kohanim only do it once and not in each Shemoneh Esrei?

On days when the Kohanim Duchan, why do the Kohanim only do it once (during Mussaf) and not in each Shemoneh Esrei? [revised question]
4
votes
4answers
235 views

Why do we call praying, Davening?

Why do we call praying Davening? What is the source of this word? Where did this originate?
3
votes
2answers
212 views

Is Shir HaShirim recited on a Yom Tov that falls on Friday?

There are those (Sephardim and Chassidim, I guess) who have the custom to recite Shir HaShirim on Friday, Erev Shabbat. Do they also recite it on a Friday when Yom Tov leads directly into Shabbat? If ...
12
votes
1answer
278 views

Avinu Malkeinu - middle verses said out loud by Chazan

Why do we repeat out loud the verses of Avinu Malkeinu - from Hachzireinu B'Teshuva until Kosveinu B'Sefer Slicha U'Mechila? Why only these verses? Why not others?
6
votes
3answers
342 views

Bringing little girls into the men's section in Shul

It has become the norm in mosts shuls I've been to, that fathers bring little girls into the men's section of synagogues on Shabbos and Yom Tov. Until what age should girls still be allowed to ...
3
votes
3answers
168 views

Does anyone have the preceding declaration before Tikkun HaKlali?

I know the specific Tehillim to recite for Tikkun HaKlali, but I'm looking for the Hebrew text (with nikkudos) of the declaration before and Reb Noson's prayer that follows the Tehillim. Is this ...
6
votes
2answers
173 views

Audio/Video Recordings of Tefilloth/Prayers

Is there any concern with listening to audio/video recordings of Tefilloth (prayers)? If someone hears a recording of a Berachah (blessing), does he have to say 'Amen'? Is he prohibited from saying ...
12
votes
1answer
252 views

Sneezing during davening

I have read in the Gemara (Berachoth 24B) that sneezing during the Shemonei Esrei is a sign that your tefillot have been accepted. "Just as you have been granted relief below, so you have been granted ...
11
votes
4answers
321 views

Keeping up with fast davening

My local shul in Johannesburg, South Africa is traditional with very few Yeshivah-background or even Shabbat-keeping members. They daven so fast I simply cannot keep up. Even if I skip most of Pesukei ...
11
votes
8answers
403 views

How do you extend the sound of a daleth in Shema?

How does one extend the sound of the daleth in the echod of the shema as prescribed in OC 61 (6)?. The letter as we say it does not seem to allow extension. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalet ...
13
votes
1answer
191 views

How do I say vidui in Selichos in a meaningful way?

We say vidui three times in selichos. Many words are uttered in a relatively short time. How can we do this in a meaningful way that is not "vidui peh"? I have heard tell of one of the gedolei ...
4
votes
2answers
112 views

“Poems” in Selichos. Names and structures of Pizmon and Shalmonis. Please explain

What is (1) the meaning of the names and (2) the structure of the “poems” found in Selichos particularly the Pizmon and the Shalmonis. (3) I note that the number of phrases in the first verse of the ...
12
votes
1answer
181 views

Out-of-order minyan participation

Some shuls have several minyanim back to back. If one arrives before the Torah reading of the 8:30 minyan and has finished davening before the Torah reading of the 9:30 minyan (to whose Kedusha one ...
10
votes
1answer
172 views

Selah ~ Does it mean 'forever' 'certainly' 'basket' 'pause', 'yahoo', a kabbalistic meditative device, or none of the above?

Does anyone know a Jewish interpretation of "selah" in the psalms? Literally it seems to mean something about basket or hanging, but I don't know how this works into psalms. Jewish sites say it may ...
6
votes
2answers
288 views

Where do Ashrei's intro sentences in the liturgy before Psalm 145 (Ashrei) come from?

The sentences "Joyful are the inhabitants of Your House, constantly praising You. Joyful are the people for whom this is so" preface Ashrei. They aren't in the psalm that David wrote, 145, but a ...
6
votes
1answer
410 views

Pesicha during davening on Rosh HaShannah and Yom Kippur

I was recently asked to do the job of handing out the honor of opening and closing the ark during davening on Rosh HaShannah and Yom Kippur and was wondering if there was any halachic significance to ...
5
votes
2answers
148 views

Order of names in a meshabarach after an aliyah

Is there any specific order in the list of names in a meshabarach after an aliyah? For instance, does my wife get listed first,or my parents? Do Grandkids get listed after their parents or only after ...
11
votes
1answer
479 views

Does one choose one or two pesukim for names?

What posuk does one choose at the end of shmonei esrei if one has two names? do you use two pesukim? or take the posuk that starts with the first initial of the first name and ends with the last ...
7
votes
1answer
538 views

Keeping in mind the meaning of every word of prayer, vs. being mindful of general concepts

If I were to sit down with my prayer book, I could translate it. I know what the words mean, and I know what they are saying conceptually. However, when I'm praying, if I try to translate in my head ...
9
votes
3answers
259 views

Eating before Davening with a Minyan, or Davening at home and not eating till later?

You wake up in the morning and are famished. In order to have strength to go to Shul you need to eat prior to Davening. However, if you were to Daven without a Minyan at home you would not have to eat ...