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

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7
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4answers
392 views

Boruch Sheomar - kissing the Tzitzis

The Mishna Berura Siman 51 :1 says that you should kiss the 2 front Tzitzis when you finish saying Boruch Sheomar. http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=14170&st=&pgnum=155 1 - Why do we ...
7
votes
2answers
292 views

Talis over head

Why is it that most Ashkenazim that are not married do not put the Talis over their head?
7
votes
3answers
244 views

רָקִיאַע or רָקִיַע

The מנחת שי at the beginning of בראשית (on "יהי רקיע") cites a מחלוקת whether the word 'רָקִיעַ' (and likewise for other words with a פתח גנובה) is pronounced as רָקִיאַע or as רָקִיַע, that is, with ...
6
votes
1answer
138 views

Can you join a minyan in another room?

I recently davened (prayed) at a hassidic Rebbe's minyan. I found something peculiar, namely that the Rebbe didn't actually daven in the same room as everyone else. Instead, he davened in a different ...
6
votes
3answers
931 views

Saying Ulichaporas Pasha in Musaf of Rosh Chodesh

During Musaf of Rosh Chodesh the words Ulichaporas Pasha is added on during a leap year. Why is this done? And what is the significance of it?
6
votes
2answers
743 views

Wearing a gartel

Where did the minhag of wearing a gartel come from?
5
votes
1answer
398 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
6answers
275 views

Is B'rich Shmei said while the Torah sits in the Aron, or as it's held (by whom?)

Sing "vayhi binsoa" as the Aron is opened by -- let's call him Mr. Opener Brich Shmei is said Chazan is now holding Torah scroll and says Shema (or Gadlu). I've seen different things happen for ...
3
votes
2answers
255 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
132 views

Grandpa and Grandson together again [closed]

What are the names of TWO distinct grandfathers and their grandsons are mentioned in the weekday Shemoneh Esrei ?
2
votes
0answers
91 views

Why are Ashre and Alenu considered communal prayers?

Shulchan Aruch (OC 65) says to say "Sh'ma" with the congregation when they say it, and Mishna B'rura 9 there says the same is true of other things recited as a congregation such as "Ashre" and ...
2
votes
1answer
114 views

What should a chazan do if he has theological problems with the congregation's text?

There are several places in the selichot where there are controversial phrases, e.g. addressing prayer to angels not G-d. I'm not asking for opinions on this, but I've heard some people just skip ...
1
vote
2answers
172 views

May one say Oseh Shalom at any time?

Are there restrictions pertaining to the recitation of the Oseh Shalom prayer? May it only be said with Kaddish?
1
vote
0answers
264 views

Non-Jews praying with the Jewish community

I read a comment made on another question that regardless of how they are worded, blessings that are made in communal prayer can only be prayed by someone who is obligated to them. The idea that ...
15
votes
11answers
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 ...
17
votes
4answers
783 views

Why do people frequently change tunes toward the end of Lecha Dodi?

Frequently, perhaps even most of the time, I've noticed that the chazan (prayer leader) for Kabalat Shabbat switches tunes for the last four verses of Lecha Dodi. Is there any reason for this, or are ...
13
votes
3answers
181 views

A rabbi asked me to light candles before weekday Mincha/Ma'ariv. Is this customary? Is there a bracha?

Last night, I was pulled in off the street to help an unfamiliar shul make a minyan for Mincha/Ma'ariv. The rabbi greeted me, and when he learned I do not speak Hebrew, he gave me a very nice blessing ...
6
votes
1answer
172 views

Does G-d only hear one language?

I'm a little confused by Rambam Hil. Tefilla 1:4. Consequently, when someone would pray, he would be limited in his ability to request his needs or to praise the Holy One, blessed be He, in ...
6
votes
5answers
520 views

Our Father who art in heaven

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we ...
4
votes
2answers
311 views

Am I yotzei in my davening if I believe that God communicated with Mohammad?

I have been reading through the various questions about Islam and its relationship to Judaism, and about the Rambam's view that Islam is a monotheistic religion and not idolatry and I am wondering: If ...
24
votes
4answers
380 views

Female praying in masculine language

When women daven (pray), even by ourselves, it is convention to daven with male-gendered words ("modeh" vs "moda" as one of many examples). Why is this; are there sources that say we should be doing ...
13
votes
4answers
429 views

Yisgadal or Yisgadel?

I've noticed that some people, when reciting kaddish, pronounce the first words as "yisgadal v'yiskadash" with a patach under the dalet of both words, while others say "yisgadel v'yisgadesh" with a ...
12
votes
0answers
171 views

Why does almost every community say Lecha Dodi?

The prayer Lecha Dodi was composed in the 16th century which is relatively recent as the general Nusach of prayer was founded between 516 BCE – 70 CE by the Anshei K'neset Hagdolah, and its rare that ...
11
votes
3answers
770 views

Are there required “ritual/daily” prayers in Judaism?

I have a question about the daily prayers of Judaism. I noticed on my trip to Jerusalem that a lot of those practicing Judaism got up at a certain time in the morning on the plane and faced a wall and ...
10
votes
1answer
177 views

Why are Isaac and Rivka in Shochen Ad

Many siddurim capitalize the Yitzchak in Shochen Ad. Some draw attention to the Rivka. But why are either of them there? If you wanted to throw Yitzchak somewhere, why not minchah, which we ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Author of Nishmat kol chai

Who is the author of the prayer "Nishmat kol chai" which is said on Shabbat, Yom Tov, and during the great Hallel at the Seder?
9
votes
1answer
175 views

Why have I never seen anyone “slicing the Shema”?

“Slicing the Shema” A good summary is to be found here, on the Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit Midrash website. In short, “…. ten men who prayed alone can subsequently fulfill their obligations of ...
7
votes
3answers
6k views

What is the earliest time one can daven Shacharis?

When is the earliest time you can Daven Shacharis?
7
votes
3answers
527 views

Cutting Tefillin Retzuos

As we know, the outside of the tefillin's retzuos (phylacteries' straps) must be black. Lately, I've noticed that the very end of the retzuah of my shel yad (tefillin of the arm) is cracking and ...
5
votes
3answers
296 views

Saying selichos before midnight

What is the position with saying selichos (end of Elul and Aseres Ymei Teshuva) with a minyan that starts straight after maariv at say 10:30 or 11pm?
5
votes
7answers
541 views

Stepping Back Before Amidah

Why do people step back three steps before the Amidah (as mentioned here in Mishnah Berurah, S'if Katan Gimmel) if the Gemarah only mentions stepping three steps forward? Is there a kabbalistic source ...
5
votes
2answers
348 views

Quorum for chazaras hashatz

How many people are needed in order to start chazaras hashatz?
4
votes
2answers
203 views

Why do we pray for G-d to smash down our fellow Jews?

My question refers to the twelfth blessing of the Amida, which seems to contravene the Biblical mitzva of ahavas yisroel*: "And for the slanderers let there be no hope; and may all wickedness perish ...
4
votes
1answer
144 views

Kadish / Tachanun errors - How should you proceed?

Suppose the Chazan starts saying Kaddish in error instead of saying Tachanun - should the Chazan just stop saying Kaddish? Is there a break off point that up to there you stop saying Kaddish and ...
3
votes
0answers
140 views

When is it permissible to collect charity during prayer?

In my shul someone usually brings around the pushka (charity box) during the chazzan's repetition of shmoneh esrei. I have also heard that it is appropriate to give tzedaka during v'yivarech Dovid. ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How do Karaites pray?

How do Karaites pray? If the text of the Amidah originated in the mishnaic period, do Karaites recognize it? If not, what do they daven?
15
votes
2answers
414 views

When to say Tefillas Haderech on an airplane?

When is the proper time to recite Tefillas Haderech when travelling in an airplane?
15
votes
2answers
668 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
1answer
239 views

Is there a Beta Israel Siddur?

Ashkenazi siddurs are different from Sephardic siddurs, do Beta Israel Siddurs even exist?
13
votes
4answers
785 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"?
13
votes
4answers
315 views

Boruch Shem Kevod Malchuso L'Olam Voed - why do we whisper it?

Why do we say Boruch Shem Kevod Malchuso L'Olam Voed in Kriyas Shema in a whisper?
12
votes
7answers
502 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
3answers
3k views

Where can I get the free Hebrew text of the Siddur or Benching?

Where can I get the text of the siddur/prayer book (or at least benching/grace, mincha/afternoon prayer, and/or ma'ariv/evening prayer) in a free computer friendly format? I'd like to be able to make ...
10
votes
2answers
363 views

“God is Fire”: Trying to Source an Analogy for Prayer

I remember reading once a very clever analogy, which I was sure that I had found in the writings of Yeshayahu Leibowitz (who sourced it, from memory, in the writings of the Rav, R' Yosef Ber ...
10
votes
3answers
439 views

If women are not obliged to daven maariv, should they daven if they wish to?

This source says that women are not obliged to daven maariv but may do if they wish. Although the Shulchan Aruch (108:7) allows one to recite a Tefilat Nedava in a certain case, Halacha Berura (22nd ...
10
votes
3answers
492 views

Asking non-Jews to pray for someone

Is it appropriate to ask non-Jews to pray on behalf of someone in dire straits (sick, wrongfully imprisoned, trapped, etc.)? Edit: If it's appropriate, would it be inappropriate if the person being ...
10
votes
3answers
117 views

How “with” the congregation do you have to be to avoid saying “Kel Melech Ne'eman” before Shema?

As I understand it, when reciting the Shema by yourself, you add the words "Kel Melech Ne'eman" beforehand; but when praying with a minyan, you don't. How "with the minyan" do you have to be? What ...
9
votes
1answer
108 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
260 views

What should be said after “sh'mei d'kudsha, brich hu” in Kaddish?

I have noticed in Chabad synagogues and sefarim, in the Kaddish after "sh'mei d'kudsha brich hu," "amen" is said by the congregation. In every other source I've seen and every other synagogue I've ...
9
votes
2answers
194 views

Purpose of announcing Molad

The custom is that the gabbai announces the time of the Molad during the course of "Bircas HaChodesh" on Shabbos Mevorchim. What is the purpose of this? The molad is anyhow not directly connected to ...