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

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8
votes
2answers
213 views

praying in a restroom

Is it permissible to say a prayer in a restroom (or bathhouse), assuming one does not use a name of God (including things like shalom) or a quotation from Torah? I'm thinking of things likesaying "...
8
votes
4answers
401 views

If Hashem doesn't change, how does prayer work?

If Hashem is perfect and unchanging, how can we pray to Him to have mercy on us? Doesn't that imply a change? I've heard it implied that the way this works is that the prayer itself has the effect ...
6
votes
1answer
186 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 Hebrew,...
6
votes
5answers
561 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 ...
27
votes
4answers
460 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
452 views

Why do we still say sections of davening in aramaic?

I am pretty sure the aramaic sections of davening were written in aramaic because it was considered necessary for people to understand what they were saying. If this is true, why don't we say those ...
14
votes
4answers
534 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 ...
13
votes
7answers
757 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
1answer
111 views

Changing location mid-way during Shemoneh Esrei?

In one of these hopefully rare events, I’ve found myself needing to daven Shemoneh Esrei in a hotel lobby. I tried finding a quiet place, only to realise mid-way one of the workers telling me I was ...
11
votes
1answer
226 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
259 views

Does Maimonides Allow Prayer to Angels?

In his Mishna Commentary to Sanhedrin 10:1 Maimonides lists as his 5th principle the prohibition to pray to an angel even as an intermediary. He counts this in his enumeration of his 13 principles in ...
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?
10
votes
1answer
220 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
395 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
2answers
482 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
7k views

What is the earliest time one can daven Shacharis?

When is the earliest time you can Daven Shacharis?
8
votes
4answers
601 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
162 views

And let who say Amen?

In light of this answer, why do we say V'imru amen and V'nomar amen at various points in bentching and davening when saying that passage alone? (eg. bentching by yourself, or oseh shalom at the end of ...
7
votes
2answers
201 views

Why are different kaddishes said by different people?

The "Mourners' Kaddish" and the "Rabbis' Kaddish" are said by mourners: either all instances are said by all mourners in the synagogue simultaneously, or each mourner gets a turn at one kaddish, or ...
7
votes
2answers
218 views

Can the Torah be read in shul if a minyan is present after the point in the service designated for Torah reading?

There have been instances where we had 9 people in the shul, and we began to daven Mincha Shabbat afternoon. We finished our individual Shmoneh Esreh, when the 10th person appeared. Can we go back and ...
7
votes
4answers
773 views

Is there a halachik problem with wearing shorts while davening?

I have often heard that one should not wear shorts while davening. This makes intuitive sense to me that we should do this out of respect. But is there any halachic reasoning behind this? Is it ...
5
votes
3answers
389 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
708 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
0answers
160 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. ...
4
votes
1answer
171 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
1answer
291 views

Who wrote the 1950s-era super-patriotic Prayer for the United States of America?

In the "Tikun Meir" siddur from about 50 years ago, there's a very unique prayer for the United States of America. Something to the effect of: Humble were its beginnings, but by Your kindness, ...
2
votes
1answer
116 views

Reasons for the laws of the prayers in Aramaic

Parts of the davenning are in Aramaic. I understood that the Malochim (Angels) do not understand Aramaic. Since HKB”H does not “attend” prayers with less than a Minyan, one does not say the Aramaic ...
2
votes
2answers
601 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 health/...
16
votes
2answers
894 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
4answers
1k 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
3answers
573 views

Praying in “multifaith spaces” in airports and other institutions

In airports and hospitals and such, you can often find "multifaith spaces". Is it permitted to pray in them? These "interfaith prayer chapels" are not churches: they're completely neutral rooms and ...
13
votes
1answer
311 views

Is there a Beta Israel Siddur?

Ashkenazi siddurs are different from Sephardic siddurs, do Beta Israel Siddurs even exist?
10
votes
3answers
207 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
556 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
votes
3answers
326 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
1answer
177 views

Is the bracha of Retzei (avodah) a Bakasha?

In a standard shmoneh esrei, we have a middle section of bakashot. Because we do not make bakashot on Shabbat (as evidenced in this question), the middle 13 brachot are omitted. However, the final ...
9
votes
4answers
678 views

“Jumping” at the end of Shemoneh Esrei

Some people are accustomed to performing a few little "jumps" at the end of Shemoneh Esrei (after taking the requisite three steps backward and forward) by lifting their heels a number of times. Is ...
8
votes
3answers
193 views

Staying up all night on Shavu'ot

Every year, when I stay up learning Torah through the first night of Shavu'ot, I invariably fall asleep during the subsequent morning prayers. Last year, I tried something new: Learn all night, but ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

What's wrong with using “Adoshem” for the name of G-d when singing?

If seen it written that many chazzanim use "Adoshem" when singing (if not in the davening) as it has the same number of syllables as what they would be saying, namely Ado-noi, but that this is ...
7
votes
1answer
179 views

Tachanun on Monday and Thursday

Why do we say a longer Tachanun on Mondays and Thursdays compared to the other days of the week?
7
votes
5answers
296 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
479 views

Bimei Matisyahu ben Yochanan Kohen Godol

In "Al Hanisim" we say "Bimei Matisyahu ben Yochanan Kohen Godol", "in the days of Matisyahu the son of Yochanan the Kohen Gadol (=high priest)". Who was the Kohen Godol: Matisyahu or Yochnan?
7
votes
1answer
134 views

Why put Psalm 130 right before barchu?

I've seen the custom quoted in many siddurim to recite Psalm 130 (שיר המעלות ממעמקים), with the Ark open, between ישתבח and ברכו during עשרת ימי תשובה. This particular Psalm was chosen because it's ...
7
votes
2answers
164 views

Why is 'misod chachomim unevonim' sometimes said and sometimes omitted in the repetition of the Amidah?

In Askenazi communities, the piece beginning 'misod chachomim unevonim' is said at the repetition of the Amidah at Shacharis when there are piyuttim (except Purim) and on Musaf on Yomim Noraim as well ...
7
votes
3answers
143 views

Explain apparent contradiction regarding “binah” in the bracha “Chonen Hada'at”

The Bracha Chonen Hada'at seems to have an apparent contradiction regarding "binah". The beginning of the blessing separates "da'at" from "binah" by implying that "G-d gives man graciously da'at and ...
7
votes
2answers
346 views

Saying Baruch HaShem L'Olam without a minyan

Should one say Baruch HaShem L'Olam when davening without a minyan? What if one is davening not in a synagogue but in a home? What if one is davening alone? Practically speaking, the prayer was ...
6
votes
2answers
329 views

Bowing during Barechu

Many Sepharadim have a custom to take a slight bow when saying Barechu both during Shacharit and Arvit. Others insist on standing. Is there any source for such a minhag in the sifrei Halacha (or ...
6
votes
2answers
398 views

Davening not in Hebrew

Isn't it better to daven in your first language rather than davening in Hebrew and only knowing part of what you're sayig?
6
votes
5answers
83 views

In Kaddish — what consolation can we offer G-d?

In the Kaddish, we say that may G-d be praised "beyond any blessing, hymn, praise, and consolation said in this world." I understand how we can bless or praise G-d -- but how exactly (or even ...
6
votes
1answer
246 views

How to find if a particular pasuk is used in davening

My father is trying to find out if a pasuk is ever quoted in any davening and I don't know of a specific resource which would help in a search. Other than using ctrl-f after downloading each siddur/...