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

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174 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
150 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 ...
10
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1answer
126 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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1answer
92 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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3answers
273 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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4answers
599 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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2answers
841 views

What does it mean for one's soul to “be like dust to everyone”?

From the end of the Amidah: "To those who curse me, let my soul be silent; and let my soul be like dust to everyone". What does it mean, for one's soul to be like dust? And why is it a good thing?
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199 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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254 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
168 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 ...
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4answers
820 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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2answers
251 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
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, ...
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2answers
208 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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3answers
228 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
259 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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3answers
286 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
126 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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2answers
293 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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2answers
133 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 ...
9
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1answer
273 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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111 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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1answer
182 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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290 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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140 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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2answers
344 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
3k views

Is it ok to pray for a non-religious friend that he become religious?

Is it ok to pray for a non-religious friend that he should become religious? In the end, he has to make the decision for himself, so can the prayer influence somehow his free will?
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3answers
71 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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3answers
6k views

What is the earliest time one can daven Shacharis?

When is the earliest time you can Daven Shacharis?
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247 views

What's so moving about Kol Nidrei

Wikipedia describes Kol Nidrei: Though not a prayer, this dry legal formula and its ceremonial accompaniment have been charged with emotional undertones since the medieval period, creating a ...
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1answer
1k views

What is the origin of hazak u'baruch?

Hazak u'barukh is a phrase commonly said after one does something in the synagogue (e.g., after an aliyah). What is its origin?
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280 views

Should I follow the congregation if their view on prayers for Yom Ha'Atzma'ut is different than mine?

How should one go about davening in a minyan on yom haatzmaut when his custom is not to change davening? My minyan does no tachanun and hallel without a bracha after shmona esreh. Should I- do ...
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3answers
180 views

Saying Tanach by Heart

מִזְמוֹרֵי תְהִלִּים וְכֵן שְׁאָר פָּרָשִׁיּוֹת מִתּוֹרָה נְבִיאִים וּכְתוּבִים שֶׁאֵינָם שְׁגוּרִים בְּפִי הַכֹּל, אָסוּר לְאָמְרָם בְּעַל פֶּה. אֲפִלּוּ מִי שֶׁהוּא יוֹדֵעַ לְאָמְרָם בְּעַל פֶּה, יֶשׁ לוֹ לִזָּהֵר ...
8
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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 ...
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2answers
131 views

Why does the congregation recite something different during the repetition of the hoda'ah — but nowhere else?

During the repetition of the amidah, during the hoda'ah (modim) the congregation recites a different text while the shaliach tzibbur recites the text we all did during the silent amidah. (1) Why do ...
8
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1answer
314 views

A Lubavitch custom of reciting zecher and zeicher in “Ashrei”?

My cousin, a Lubavitcher, says both zecher and zeicher (that is, both זֶכֶר with a segol and זֵכֶר with a tzeire) in "Ashrei". I noticed this when I visited him a good few years ago, and assumed it ...
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2answers
2k views

Davening on Plane Zmanim

How do you know when to daven Shachris on a plane?
8
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2answers
145 views

Why does the 5th verse of “Yigdal”, not mention prayer as does the 5th principle of faith of the Rambam?

The piyyut, “Yigdal”, seems to put the 13 principles of faith of the Rambam in poetic form. With number 5, the author of Yigdal seems to have made a slightly different point to the Rambam by leaving ...
8
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1answer
147 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 ...
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3answers
186 views

How to inspire tears in davening?

Rebbe Nachman said that it is especially powerful to allow tears to flow during the Amidah. How does one come to tears? What thoughts should one have while davening to allow tears to flow in order to ...
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2answers
202 views

When does one use the condensed Shemoneh Esrei?

To Pray as a Jew mentions that there is a condensed form of the Shemoneh Esrei which can sometimes be used in place of the full version. The condensed form was different than the Shabbat version of ...
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5answers
235 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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3answers
178 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 ...
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1answer
1k views

When do we say Baruch Hu Uvaruch Shemo?

I'm somewhat confused on when Baruch Hu Uvaruch Shemo (ברוך הוא וברוך שמו) should be said after Hashem's name in a B'racha (I'm taking for granted that it is only said in the context of a bracha, but ...
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2answers
133 views

Davening for the interminably ill

I'm using the example of a coma for this question, but there are plenty of similar examples that could follow the same structure. Let's say someone goes into a coma, and begins recovering. At a ...
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2answers
200 views

Baruch Hu Ubaruch Shmo-Meaning

I am looking for a good explanation of the phrase, "Baruch Hu Ubaruch Shmo".i.e. why do we praise both Hashem and his "name" separately? Can anyone help me with this? Thanks!
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2answers
139 views

If you must stop shmoneh esrai, should you take 3 steps back?

If you are davenning shmoneh esrai and you must stop (for example there is filth, something untznius, pictures, a dangerous animal, etc), should you take 3 steps back? I'm asking both about taking 3 ...
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1answer
120 views

Why is Ein Kelokeinu not said on Yom Kippur?

Ein Kelokeinu isn't in my Yom Kippur Machzor, and as far as I can recall, it is not said in Shul after Musaf [or any time, for that matter]. Why is this so?
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4answers
324 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 ...
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3answers
105 views

In front of Moshe, why not all of Klal Yisrael?

We say in Tefillas Maariv בוקע ים לפני משה that the sea split before Moshe. Why does it say "lifnei Moshe" (in front of Moshe) wasn't it lifnei (in front of) all of Klal Yisrael (the Jews)?