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

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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 ...
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3answers
239 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
226 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 ...
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2answers
361 views

Must a Divorced Man Wear a Tallis While Davening?

According to a common custom among Ashkenazim, a man only starts wearing a tallis while davening after he gets married. Does a divorced man continue to wear a tallis when davening? Or could/should he ...
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1answer
217 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 ...
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421 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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1answer
189 views

Why does Nusach Ashkenaz skip מה רבו on Shabbos?

In the birchot keriat shema of Shabbat morning, we add a number of pesukim in the beginning, and we switch the piyut of קל ברוך גדול דעה for the piyut of קל אדון. But all the pesukim said on a weekday ...
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4answers
274 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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143 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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1answer
92 views

Why don't we care if the Pesach pilgrims get rained on?

After Sukkos, we immediately begin saying mashiv haruach, as it is the rainy season. However, we delay saying v'sein tal umattar, the request for rain, until we have given the pilgrims who came to ...
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470 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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198 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
108 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 ...
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2answers
178 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.)?
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1answer
173 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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2answers
209 views

Modeh Ani - When to say the blessing

When is the proper time to say the Modeh Ani blessing? Sometimes people wake up at 4 or 5 am to use the bathroom and then go back to sleep. Is it correct to say the blessing only when waking up for ...
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131 views

Greetings during Prayer

In light of YDK's answer here, Halacha permits one to greet and sometimes return greetings to other people at different times during prayer when other interruptions would otherwise be prohibited. (See ...
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94 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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1answer
250 views

Entering / Davening in a Karaite synagogue

Is one permitted to enter and/or daven in a Karaite synagogue nowadays (according to Rabbinite law)?
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619 views

Do Jews pray to deceased forefathers?

Shalom, I would like to know if Jews consider it acceptable to pray to deceased ancestors, forefathers, or "saints" like some Christians in the Catholic tradition do. Deuteronomy 18:11 would seem to ...
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3answers
109 views

Why does Wednesday's shir shel yom include part of the next perek?

The Shir Shel Yom is (usually) a chapter of Tehillim said at the end of davening, unique to each day. That applies for every day except Wednesday. In some (many) customs, Wednesday's song is Tehillim ...
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4answers
666 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 ...
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3answers
319 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 ...
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2answers
217 views

Davening for someone to end a painful life

Are you allowed to daven for a person to die because he is in a lot of pain?
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274 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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3k views

Davening on Plane Zmanim

How do you know when to daven Shachris on a plane?
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962 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 ...
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325 views

Why don't some people say Vihi Noam Motzei Shabbos of Shabbos Hagadol 5772?

Regarding saying Vihi Noam on Motzei Shabbos Shabbos Hagadol which falls out a week before Pesach (The first night of Pesach is on Friday Night) Luach Kollel Chabad writes: On Saturday night, we ...
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4answers
357 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, ...
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2answers
246 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 ...
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135 views

When saying Shema Yisroel as your last words, should you say “בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד”?

Ad 120 Since the "Baruch shem..." that follows the statement of "Shema yisroel" was collocated to "Shema yisroel" by rabbis, and is subordinate to the extent that we say it in an undertone, must it ...
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5answers
302 views

Bracha of V'Lamalshinim

Brachos 28b Shmuel Hakattan coined the Bracha of V'Lamalshinim. Brachos 10a mentions a story where Rabbi Meir was being bothered by people and prayed for their demise. His wife Bruria tells him do ...
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243 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 ...
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3answers
309 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 ...
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2answers
246 views

Bowing during 'Aleinu

Are we required to bow during the 'Aleinu prayer when reciting the line starting with ״ואנחנו כורעים״? If there are differing halakhic rulings or customs, which I assume there are, their sources ...
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329 views

Falling behind during davening

If you daven more slowly than the chazzan, should you skip what someone who came late to davening would skip so that you can reach barchu with the tzibbur?
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3answers
131 views

tachanun quietly

Some people pray quietly (except where praying aloud is recommended or required, as for the first verse of "Sh'ma"), others aloud, by which I mean loud enough to be heard from a few feet away, and yet ...
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1answer
125 views

What constitutes an acceptable barrier so that another person can pass by someone saying the Amidah?

The Shulchan Aruch/Mishna Berurah 102 (4) [15] writes that one may not walk within four Amos in front of somebody praying the Amidah. What constitutes an acceptable barrier in front of the person so ...
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1answer
317 views

How come Sepharadim say “Boreh peri haGEFen” but “Shelo Asani AVed”

I think Hacham Ovadia has a footnote in Hazon Ovadia on Pesach (and probably elsewhere) in which he discusses why we don't use the pausal form of gafen instead of gefen. He writes (if i remember ...
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1answer
194 views

Piyyutim on Yomim Noraim. Why do we split phrases against their meaning?

Why is it that in the davenning for Yomim Noraim, we split up the phrases in many of the piyyutim against their real meaning? For example, in “Vechol maaminim shehu…” (p 538 Artscroll Machzor For Yom ...
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2answers
144 views

Priority rules for abridging Selichot

If the minyan doesn't have enough time allotted for Selichot to finish everything listed in the Selichot book for today, so you need to cut some parts out, what are the rules of priority for what ...
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2answers
122 views

If one hand gets dirty, do both require washing?

I'm in middle of davening, and scratch a usually-covered place using my little finger (pinky) on my right hand. This requires me to wash my hand before continuing. Do I have to: wash both my hands? ...
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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 ...
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2answers
113 views

Conversations with G-d

I learned that other than praying, I can talk to G-d throughout the day, while I'm in traffic, or walking to some where ...any time. Now, since it's very hot here where I live , I prefer to be more ...
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1answer
310 views

Can one say amen to a blessing invoked by a Christian?

I was watching the blessings recited by clergy of various religions at the currently ongoing Republican National Convention to see if the blessings were made generally to G-d, or if the one giving the ...
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1answer
174 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 ...
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1answer
297 views

Any good sources for Ashkenazi prayer modes and melodies for the whole year?

Anyone know of any good sources for Ashkenazi prayer modes and melodies for the whole year? I'm looking for traditional Ashkenazi nusach, but perhaps not embellished like concert chazzanut. A good ...
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1answer
176 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 ...
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2answers
568 views

When may one do a Hechi Kedushah?

May a Chazzan decide on his own to do a Hechi Kedushah, or are there rules for when it is appropriate/mandated?
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7k views

Text of S'lichos Online

Is there any fully digital (i.e. searchable) edition of the סליחות? Is it publicly available online?