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

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7
votes
3answers
302 views

Why doesn't Al Hanisim Mention the Miracle of the Oil?

Why is there no mention of the miracle of the candles burning for eight nights in Al Hanisim?
5
votes
3answers
141 views

The Tur's word counts for Shemoneh Esreh

I have often seen the Tur cited as giving exact word counts for each blessing of the Shemoneh Esreh. The arguments I have seen for being careful to adhere to the word counts include that this would ...
16
votes
2answers
327 views

Whispering prayers?

Can one whisper t'fila (prayer)? I'm thinking of obligatory t'filos like sh'mone esre and "Sh'ma". I know one can speak t'fila quietly, even very quietly; in fact, sh'mone esre is said quietly. I'm ...
14
votes
4answers
230 views

How to say go-al Yisroel before Shacharis Amida

When the leader gets to just before the Shacharis Amida, how should he say the blessing go-al Yisroel: aloud or saying the word Yisroel so the end of it cannot be heard?
13
votes
3answers
334 views

Moving from one's spot after Kedusha

After standing still for Kedusha, some people move after saying Yimloich, whereas others wait until after the Chazan says Hokail Hakodoish. What is the correct way?
12
votes
4answers
299 views

When you're trapped by someone Davening behind you

There's a(n) Halachah (citation help, anyone?) that you are not supposed to pass in front of someone in prayer. As a result, many people are strict and won't take their three steps back when ...
12
votes
4answers
338 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
170 views

When there are four aveilim (mourners), Is it better to have one minyan of 40 people or 4 minyonim of ten each?

Today I was in a shul where there were four parallel mincha services because four mourners wanted to lead the services. I thought there was a principle of ברב עם הדרת מלך? What sources are there that ...
9
votes
4answers
333 views

Ashkenazic vs. Sefardic grammar tendencies

I notice that when referring to God in the second person in a possessive form, Sefardim often use the female form where Ashkenazim use the male form. For example, where Ashkenazim say in kedusha, ...
8
votes
2answers
229 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
1answer
140 views

Dealing with Other Minyanim

Many times I find myself davening in one Minyan while another is taking place within earshot. What is the proper way to handle such a situation (in terms of answering Amens, Kedusha, etc.)?
7
votes
2answers
317 views

Talis over head

Why is it that most Ashkenazim that are not married do not put the Talis over their head?
7
votes
5answers
274 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
150 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
941 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
831 views

Wearing a gartel

Where did the minhag of wearing a gartel come from?
5
votes
1answer
459 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
3answers
401 views

If it's your minhag to daven Hanetz, do you do so even without a minyan?

A friend once told me that if one's minhag is to daven with Hanetz (i.e., starting the Amida prayer at sunrise), and if there's no Hanetz minyan nearby, you should still daven Hanetz, even without a ...
5
votes
6answers
315 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
1answer
133 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
1answer
116 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
0answers
287 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 ...
17
votes
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 ...
20
votes
4answers
843 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
247 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
218 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
177 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
538 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
331 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 ...
25
votes
4answers
396 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
459 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
842 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
2answers
407 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
1answer
194 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
1answer
196 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
310 views

Why do we say Eishes Chayil on Friday nights?

Eishes Chayil is indeed a beautiful song. But why do we say it specifically Friday nights (before Kiddush)?
10
votes
3answers
2k 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?
8
votes
1answer
145 views

May one mix-and-match to create their own Hebrew pronunciation?

In the introduction to his siddur (down the bottom of the linked page), Rabbi Yaakov Emden emphasises the strict importance of a proper Hebrew pronunciation when davening. In particular, he ...
8
votes
3answers
6k views

What is the earliest time one can daven Shacharis?

When is the earliest time you can Daven Shacharis?
7
votes
4answers
572 views

Praying on an airplane

Often times on flights to/from Eretz Yisroel there are people who put together a Minyan at the back of the plane. I for one always pray at my seat as I feel it can easily come to a Chillul Hashem. Is ...
7
votes
3answers
580 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
299 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
597 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
152 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
148 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
2k 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?
2
votes
2answers
391 views

Can one make a mi'shebeirach for animals?

Is it proper to conduct a mi'shebeirach prayer (which is a prayer normally said by a synagogue official, at a communal Torah reading, for the health and recovery of a sick person) for the ...
16
votes
2answers
737 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?
15
votes
2answers
505 views

When to say Tefillas Haderech on an airplane?

When is the proper time to recite Tefillas Haderech when travelling in an airplane?
13
votes
1answer
265 views

Is there a Beta Israel Siddur?

Ashkenazi siddurs are different from Sephardic siddurs, do Beta Israel Siddurs even exist?