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

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62 views

Why does the chazzan or gabbai recite the “El malei rachamim” prayer?

Wikipedia states "El malei rachamim" is a funeral prayer used by the Ashkenazi Jewish community. The chazzan recites it, for the ascension of the souls of the dead, during the funeral, going ...
9
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1answer
84 views

Why don't we care if the Pesach pilgrims get rained on?

After Sukkos, we immediately begin saying mashiv haruach, as it is the rainy season. However, we delay saying v'sein tal umattar, the request for rain, until we have given the pilgrims who came to ...
2
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1answer
114 views

Pronouncing Hebrew Letter (zayin) in Prayer Correctly

When praying in a whisper, especially during the amidah (shmoneh esrei), does one have to stress the zayin ('z' sound)--which would make one sound like a buzzing bee to surrounding people--or is it ...
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0answers
39 views

Shortened אמת ויציב

In Nusach Ashkenaz, particularly in western siddurim (Heidenheim, Bloch, et c.) There is a shortened version of the paragraphs of אמת ויציב and על הראשונים which is recited when a zulat (yotzer before ...
4
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3answers
297 views

Why is a prayer leader still removed for omitting V'lamalshinim?

TL;DR The Ashkenazi nusach of V'lamalshinim omits explicit mention of heretics. Therefore, recitation or omission of this blessing by the prayer leader seems to no longer serve as a signal for ...
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3answers
138 views

Is it proper to put away the tefillin before the end of Shacharit?

In many shuls, I see the majority of people begin putting away their tefillin when the chazan begins the full Kaddish (after U'va Letzion). To me this seems disruptive and disrespectful to the ...
8
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2answers
142 views

Why does the 5th verse of “Yigdal”, not mention prayer as does the 5th principle of faith of the Rambam?

The piyyut, “Yigdal”, seems to put the 13 principles of faith of the Rambam in poetic form. With number 5, the author of Yigdal seems to have made a slightly different point to the Rambam by leaving ...
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3answers
3k views

Is it ok to pray for a non-religious friend that he become religious?

Is it ok to pray for a non-religious friend that he should become religious? In the end, he has to make the decision for himself, so can the prayer influence somehow his free will?
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1answer
79 views

Texts of Shirei HaYichud Online

Does anyone know where to find a copy of the shirei hayichud online with cut-and-paste capability? I've checked piyut.org.il and HebrewBooks.org, however the only copies I found were with horrible OCR ...
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2answers
95 views

Were/are there any gedolim that do not wear a hat of some kind?

It seems like almost major rebbeim/poskim do/did ear some sort of additional head covering (black hat, streimel, cap, etc) for davening. If the practice is that universal among gedolim, that might ...
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1answer
24 views

Standing during pesukei d'zimrah

What is/are the earliest origins of the customs to stand during various passages of the daily service before the Amidah (e.g. Baruch She'amar, Shirat Yam, Yishtabach)?
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1answer
55 views

Seeking scholarly siddur with sources

Is there a well-sourced, scholarly siddur/work on the siddur/website that discusses the origins of the various prayers? Where can I find it?
22
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1answer
2k views

Did Jews in Arab countries ever rely on Islamic calls to prayer?

It just occurred to me that Jews in Arab/Islamic countries would most likely have heard the adhan call the populace to prayer five times a day. Upon looking at an Islamic time-table and doing some ...
4
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0answers
47 views

Reward for not talking during davening

The Sefer HaPanim (Daf 11) says, “One who is careful not to converse during prayers is bound to live a long life and have a pleasant old age." 1) Is there anywhere in the Torah, Gemara or Sefarim ...
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13answers
1k views

What are the oldest Jewish songs (tune plus words) that are still popular today?

When I say "song", I mean the combination of tune and words; and yes I'm probably thinking Ashkenazically here. It seems like any European old-timer I've met knows the "good old fashioned" tune for ...
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3answers
41 views

On taking out the Torah, why do we say, udavar adoni myerushalym?

On taking out the Torah we say, "and the word of Gcd will come forth from Jerusalem" (paraphrased). What does that mean? It does not say "the word came forth from Sinai". Does it mean that the Jews ...
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1answer
75 views

What is “ya’aleh v’yavo”?

I am learning about prayer services and was wondering what is "ya’aleh v’yavo" and when do we insert the “ya’aleh v’yavo” language into our davening?
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0answers
76 views

Prayer and the Noahide/Gentile

I know that Noahides have their own siddur and are not bound or obligated to pray, but could one (a Noahide) pray the actual Amhidah for example and omit the words "our" or anything that connects them ...
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1answer
60 views

Why Don't Ashkenasim say ברכו at the end of Shabbos Mussaf?

I noticed that while Sephardim do in fact say: ברכו את ה המבורך at the conclusion of Mussaf on Shabbos, it seems that Ashkenasim (at least the shuls that I go to) don't. Is there a reason for this? A ...
3
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1answer
82 views

Where online can I find the oldest Sidur?

I am looking for the oldest sidur you can find and read online. I mean a scanned version of course. If possible before 1000 Modern Era. Ps: I am not looking for something in a museum since I want to ...
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1answer
232 views

Why no repetition of the Shema in shul?

We repeat the amida in shul for the sake of those who do not know the amida. We read the birkat hamzaon aloud for the sake of those who do not know the blessings. In both cases, we assume that many ...
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1answer
124 views

Tachanun on 7 Adar

According to those who don't say tachanun on the seventh of Adar (referenced here, here, here, here page 3 among others) as it is traditionally considered Moshe Rabbeinu's yahrzeit, and as such, some ...
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0answers
59 views

Speaks during kaddish

I saw the following quote: "If one speaks during Kaddish, then when his children say Kaddish for him after he leaves this world, it will not help his neshama, because he mocked the Kaddish while he ...
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2answers
64 views

prayers ascending from Western Wall

I read somewhere that the Talmud says that all prayers from around the world ascend to Heaven from the Western Wall. (i.e. the kosel) Does anyone know where in the Talmud that it says this?
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39 views

Davening behind a mechitzah - Poreish Min HaTzibbur?

I have noticed a trend in many orthodox synagogues where men will daven in the women's section despite there being plenty of room in the men's section to sit and pray. Since the function of the ...
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2answers
50 views

40 consecutive days of prayer at the Western Wall

I heard that a Jewish tradition says that praying for 40 consecutive days at the Western Wall ensures the prayer will be answered. Does anyone where the source for this is?
1
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1answer
31 views

Taking off tefillin for Mussaf on Rosh Chodesh [duplicate]

On Rosh Chodesh we take off our tefillin before Mussaf. 1) What's the source this? 2) Why do we do it?
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1answer
33 views

Connection of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov to birkat kohanim

There is a man who davens in my minyan who loudly says "אברהם, יצחק, ויעקב" after birkat kohanim during chazarat hasha"tz. I have never seen anybody else do that, and I was wondering if there is a ...
2
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1answer
37 views

What if you forget Ya'aleh V'yavo on the second night of Rosh Chodesh?

If one forgets to say Ya'aleh V'yavo on the eve of rosh chodesh, one does not repeat: If one remembers immediately after completing the blessing of Retzeh, he should insert Ya’aleh VeYavo there, ...
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0answers
24 views

Purpose of Beis Hamikdash

Rambam writes that the purpose of the beis hamikdash is specifically for offering sacrifices and for pilgrimages (Sefer Hamitzvos: Shoresh 12): שיהיה לנו בית מוכן יבאו אליו ויחוגי בו ובו תהיה ...
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2answers
268 views

Rockets from Gaza while praying

I live in Beer Sheva, Israel where there are presently ongoing rockets fired at us from Gaza. We are warned of an impending rocket by a loud siren that gives us less than a minute to run to a bomb ...
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0answers
18 views

Why did the Rabbis make a decree for Yovel?

Rambam (Hilchos Tefila 2:8) says that בד"א ביום צום של כל שנה ושנה אבל ביום צום של שנת היובל מתפלל תפלת המוספים תשע ברכות כמו שהתפלל במוסף ראש השנה והם אותן הברכות עצמן לא פחות ולא יותר ואין ...
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1answer
44 views

Why don't Jews fully prostrate themselves? [duplicate]

The Muslims in prayer prostrate themselves completely 5 times a day. Why don't Jews prostrate as well? Surely it shows more honour towards Hashem if one would bow down properly rather than a slight ...
0
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1answer
14 views

If Yom Kippur seals our fate, why do we pray the rest of the year? [duplicate]

If on Yom Kippur on fate is sealed, why do we continue to be mispalleil for the rest of the year?
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2answers
118 views

meaning of words and tefillah

The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (6:1) tells us, “When one makes a berachah he should have in mind the meaning of the words.” Is there any halachic source (i.e. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, Shulchan Aruch or ...
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1answer
34 views

Is there a recommended timing chart for each section of davening?

I know that davening should not be rushed. However, inevitably, it seems that it is, in many shuls. Weekday morning shacharit, in particular, seems to be the most rushed as people have to commute to ...
4
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1answer
67 views

Reason for various positioning of “An'im Zemirot”

I am aware of 3 different customs of when to say An'im Zemirot on Shabbat: Beginning of Shacharit, Between Bircot Hashachar and Psukei D'Zimrah After Chazarat Hashat"z of Shacaharit End of Musaph ...
8
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3answers
68 views

Why does Wednesday's shir shel yom include part of the next perek?

The Shir Shel Yom is (usually) a chapter of Tehillim said at the end of davening, unique to each day. That applies for every day except Wednesday. In some (many) customs, Wednesday's song is Tehillim ...
3
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1answer
86 views

Have to repeat shmoneh esrei on motze'i Shabbat. Say “ata chonantanu” again?

Suppose on a Saturday night, someone says shmoneh esrei with "ata chonantanu" but forgets another part that requires repeating shmoneh esrei (like ya'aleh v'yavo on chol hamoed). When he repeats ...
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1answer
105 views

Can one recite prayers or learn torah while facing a bathroom whose door is open?

Do you have to close the bathroom door that you are in the vicinity of before being able to recite blessings or learn torah? Does it suffice to simply turn your back towards the bathroom door? For ...
2
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2answers
162 views

Is sincere repentance always accepted?

Must repentance be accepted by Gd? Is sincere repentance always accepted? Is repentance a form of prayer? (Not all prayer is accepted.)
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4answers
204 views

Davening for someone to get punished

Are you allowed to daven for someone else to get punished? In other words, if a real Jewish rasha in every sense of the word does bad to you for no good reason and you feel incredibly hurt, can you ...
2
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1answer
35 views

Davening and a freshly fertilised lawn

Per Shaliach Tzibbur and passing gas, the Shulchan Aruch advises against davening or learning Torah when there is a foul smell. For many years, my schul did not have AC and every year the schul's ...
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11answers
408 views

How do you improve your Kavvanah [concentration]?

Building on my blog post here, I ask: How do you improve your concentration when davening?
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0answers
28 views

A prayer not accompanied with personal efforts to solve the problem – how is it viewed?

This article by Rabbi Berel Wein reminds us that that our father Yaakov prepared for his encounter with Eisav by adopting three possible strategies and not relying on prayer alone. He says ...
3
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2answers
86 views

What is the importance of the tallit during prayer?

What is the difference whether one wears a tallit or not during תפילה (prayer/worship, sacred service)?
2
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1answer
57 views

Can a minyan be made up of people who do not respond to the prayers said?

Can a minyan be made up of people who are unable (eg through lack of education) to respond to the prayers said? See O Ch 124 (4) where it says that if nine people are not paying attention to the ...
3
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0answers
66 views

Is there a difference between eating breakfast before a weekday Shacharit prayer or a Shabbat Shacharit prayer?

Based on the verse “Lo tochlu al hadam,” in Vayikra, we learn that one should not eat before praying in the morning. There is also the concept of Oneg Shabbat. Which basically means that you should ...
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0answers
25 views

Origin of Reciting Psalms

What is the origin of reciting Tehillim as a form of prayer? More specifically, of reciting even passages of Tehillim which do not contain requests for the issue one is facing but rather of praise of ...
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3answers
386 views

Why is There No Tachanun on Tu b'Shvat?

Or, more specifically, what is/are the reason(s) for not saying tachanun on various occasions and how does Tu b'Shvat fit in. (I'm looking for classic reasons, not 'it's got to be somebody's birthday ...