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

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11answers
373 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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5answers
4k views

how do Jews pray?

I am an Indian (from India) and there are hardly any Jews here, except for some Israeli tourists. There are more than 150 million Muslims however. I want to know if the Jews pray and how they pray. I ...
11
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3answers
240 views

Finding the quiet section of the synagogue

When you enter an unfamiliar synagogue, how do you find a seat in a section that's likely to have the least talking?
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8answers
361 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 ...
11
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5answers
461 views

Should I be shuckling?

I was told that shuckeling (sp?) is an indication of the love-fear relationship that we have with God. You move forward showing that you want to be close to God and then backward out of fear of his ...
11
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3answers
599 views

Why do Jewish people sway while praying?

Is there a reason that people sway back and forth while praying? I saw a lot of people pray like this, but I'm too shy to ask them why do they do this.
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5answers
155 views

Why do we say “ואתה עתיד ליטלה ממני”?

In אלוקי נשמה, we thank ה׳ for giving us our souls, and we say that He is destined to take them from us. Isn't this saying that משיח will not come in our lifetime? Why aren't we hoping for תחית ...
11
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3answers
697 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 ...
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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 ...
11
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4answers
476 views

Tachanun without a Sefer Torah

Recently I began davening mincha with a minyan that meets in college. When it comes to Tachanun, what is the correct procedure if there's no Sefer Torah in the room [and building]?
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3answers
247 views

וינוחו בה\בו\בם ישראל in Shabbat shemoneh esrei — why the change?

I've noticed that the Friday night shemoneh esrei (nusach Ashkenaz) uses the line "בה", shacharit and musaf use "בו", and mincha uses "בם" in the phrase "וינוחו _ ישראל מקדשי שמך..." What is the ...
11
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3answers
241 views

Can you learn during chazarat hashatz?

Are you allowed to learn Torah silently during the chazzan's repetition of Shmonah Esrei? (This is a case where you are davening with that minyan.)
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4answers
238 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 ...
11
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2answers
339 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 ...
11
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2answers
171 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
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2answers
353 views

Who didn't recite Kabbalas Shabbos?

In this article, R. Michael Broyde writes that: Indeed, there have been prominent halachic authorities of the last generation who did not recite Kabbalat Shabbat. Can anyone provide examples of ...
11
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2answers
721 views

Different traditions in Hebrew pronunciation

The theme of Hebrew pronunciation is one that facinates me and, as such, I want to get some feedback on some issues I've been thinking about for years. I have already discussed some of these issues ...
11
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1answer
458 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 ...
11
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7answers
466 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 ...
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4answers
305 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 ...
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4answers
421 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 ...
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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?
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2answers
622 views

I am not Jewish but would like to visit a MO synagogue to pray occasionally on Shabbat. What is the best course?

I have studied Judaism for five years privatley but also with the assistance of friends. There isn't a shul in the city where I live so most Shabbats I pray at home. Occasionaly I have driven into a ...
10
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1answer
168 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 ...
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1answer
319 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 ...
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3answers
196 views

Proper age to take a child to Shul

What is the proper age for children to begin being taken to Shul?
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3answers
200 views

Who instituted the Musaf prayer?

According to the Gemara in Brachot, there are two views about Shacharit, Mincha, and Maariv: one is that the Avot instituted them, and one is that they correspond to the daily tmidin and the burning ...
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3answers
150 views

Is Torah reading an individual or communal obligation?

Is the obligation to read the Torah (or hear it read) an individual or communal obligation? A possible nafka mina might be if one missed the Torah reading -- does he need to assemble a minyan to ...
10
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3answers
114 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 ...
10
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3answers
404 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 ...
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2answers
357 views

When saying the Mi SheBerach prayer for a sick amputee, do you say “for his 248 limbs”?

The standard text of the Mi She-Berach prayer for the sick asks that G-d send healing "to his 248 limbs and 365 sinews." What if someone, G-d forbid, lost a foot a few years ago; and now prayers are ...
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3answers
117 views

What to do before death

If a doctor tells a person that he is certain to die shortly (e.g., within one hour), what should that person do during his remaining minutes?
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2answers
323 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 ...
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2answers
331 views

Why do we mention dreams during *Birchas Kohanim*?

I don't know how many sects actually do this, but some people have the custom to say a tehfillah which is all about dreams. In it we ask Hashem to make all our good dreams come true whether "...I have ...
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2answers
183 views

How sick does someone have to be to be put on “the cholim list”?

By putting someone on a cholim list you are asking the tzibur to daven/ say tehillim on their behalf. How sick does someone need to be for it to be appropriate to put them on such a list?
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4answers
238 views

Reconciling Nature with Continuous Creation

I have always understood that when God created the universe, he subjected it to a natural order and process under which the universe can function. The laws of nature are those that govern the ...
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1answer
160 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 ...
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1answer
116 views

What is the rationale to continue saying Yekum Purkan in its present state

In Yekum Purkan, we pray for the well-being of the rabbis in Bavel, the Reishei Chalei, & the Reish Galvasa (commonly pronounced Galussa). This specific prayer for non-existent people and ...
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1answer
85 views

Who instituted the Nusach of the Mi SheBerachs that we say?

Who instituted the Nusach of the Mi SheBerachs that we say for a newborn, for a sick person, after an Aliyah, etc.?
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2answers
159 views

What is Ya'aleh Veyavo about?

Ya'aleh Veyavo is said on three occasions: in the third blessing of Birchas Hamazon, in the third to last blessing of Shmoneh Esrei on Rosh Chodesh and Chol Hamoed, and in the Kedushas Hayom (middle ...
10
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1answer
170 views

Why are some bakashot made on Shabbat?

As I understand it, we don't make prayers of request (bakashot) on Shabbat (cf Rambam Shabbat 30:12). For that reason, we omit so many liturgical requests because of shabbos - e.g., Avinu Malkeinu, ...
10
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2answers
238 views

why does the chazzan stand for the entire davening?

From what I have seen, other than tachanun (nefilat apayim) the chazzan stands for the entire davening. Why is this so? Why not sit for things like krias shema?
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3answers
255 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)?
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4answers
1k views

How precisely oriented towards Jerusalem should we face for praying?

I know we're supposed to face towards Jerusalem when praying/davening. For most of us in the Europe or the Western Hemisphere, we're used to facing "Mizrach", east. How precise should we be? If ...
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4answers
225 views

Why pray for Y'hoshua and not Kalev?

Rashi to Sh'lach 13:16 notes that Moshe prayed that God save Y'hoshua from the other spies' plot. This is a paraphrase of a g'mara (Sotah 34b) which implies strongly that Moshe did not similarly pray ...
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2answers
166 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
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2answers
185 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 ...
9
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3answers
219 views

How to respond to excessive talking in a synagogue

If there is a lot of talking (or other halakhic impropriety) in a synagogue, what are some of the considerations that go into the decision regarding what to do about it? Here are some ideas of what ...
9
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3answers
470 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 ...
9
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3answers
251 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 ...