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

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10
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1answer
105 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
454 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
213 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
369 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?
9
votes
1answer
166 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 ...
9
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
592 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
2answers
199 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
689 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
655 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
161 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
151 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
501 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
818 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
646 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
3answers
474 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
292 views

Is there a Beta Israel Siddur?

Ashkenazi siddurs are different from Sephardic siddurs, do Beta Israel Siddurs even exist?
13
votes
4answers
978 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"?
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What are “universal minimum” standards of tznius for halachic purposes?

What are the minimum standards of tznius for halachic purposes? By "halachic purposes" I mean Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 75, which forbids praying in the presence of ervah. I am raising the question ...
12
votes
7answers
694 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
4k 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
votes
3answers
580 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
543 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
1answer
112 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
309 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
232 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
votes
4answers
937 views

Lecha Dodi (לכה דודי) - Last Stanza

At Boi Veshalom (in Lecha Dodi), we turn around to greet the Shabbos queen. Firstly, to which direction are we supposed to turn? Is it towards the door of the synagogue, always to the rear of the ...
8
votes
1answer
263 views

Is it permitted to pray in underclothes that one slept in (underwear, t shirt) if outer clothes changed?

I hear there is an inyan not to pray in clothes that one slept in. I also heard the qualification that this is only for clothes meant for sleeping. (I don't have sources) Would something like boxers ...
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 ...
8
votes
3answers
182 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
133 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
3answers
127 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
389 views

Refusing to Daven from the Amud

According to Bruchos 34a, one should initially refuse to Daven for the Amud, so as to feel unworthy of the duty and to not look too eager to do it. The first time one is asked he should refuse, the ...
7
votes
2answers
159 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
1answer
165 views

When is “vesain tal umotor” said in Australia?

When is "vesain tal umotor" said in the Southern Hemisphere eg Australia?
7
votes
1answer
172 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
3answers
469 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?
6
votes
3answers
203 views

When do you say Hashem sefatai?

Before saying shemoneh esrei we say "Hashem, sefatai siftach u'fi yagid tehilasecha". Are you supposed to say those words A) Before you take the 3 steps back to start your shemoneh esrei B) One word ...
6
votes
5answers
81 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
211 views

Women and Tefillah - per the Rav

I remember a long time ago hearing that the Rav (Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (1903–1993)) held that women should pray three times a day. Can anyone verify this, and what is the reason/source ...
6
votes
2answers
975 views

Tehilim HaChida - in the order of the Aleph Bais

I recently came across the Tehilim HaChida which is the entire Tehilim with the Pesukim rearranged in the order of the Aleph Bais by first letter. From the introduction it seems like it is a special ...
6
votes
3answers
465 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
307 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
926 views

Posuk for name at end of Shemona Esrei

Many people say a Posuk at the end of Shemona Esrei that begins and ends with the same letters as their name. What does someone do if he can not find a Posuk that begins and ends with his name?
6
votes
2answers
389 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?
5
votes
2answers
175 views

Too fast or no minyan?

Suppose the only minyan available for someone to attend is one which moves far too fast for him. Even with arriving early and starting ahead of time, he only has time to say a fraction of psukei ...
4
votes
3answers
228 views

What do the words מְנָת כּוֹסִי mean in the hymn “Adon Olam”

In Adon Olam some translate the words מְנָת כּוֹסִי in the antepenultimate stanza as “the portion of my cup”. (Wikipedia translates as “Filling my cup” but I do not see that meaning in מְנָת.) For ...