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

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13
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3answers
664 views

Can you ask God to kill you?

I know that out of desperation Moshe asks God to kill him and I don't necessarily see any reason it would be forbidden but I was curious if there was any discussion, halachic or otherwise, as to ...
12
votes
5answers
553 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
266 views

Sneezing during davening

I have read in the Gemara (Berachoth 24B) that sneezing during the Shemonei Esrei is a sign that your tefillot have been accepted. "Just as you have been granted relief below, so you have been granted ...
11
votes
3answers
468 views

Best practices for praying in public with talit and tefilin

I just learned that a flight out of New York was diverted because a flight attendant saw a passenger putting on tefilin and freaked out, thinking that he was strapping on bombs. So, do you have any ...
10
votes
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?
10
votes
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)?
10
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
199 views

What to think about during each shofar sound

There are all kinds of meanings traditionally associated with the shofar blowing, as well as with each of its individual sounds. During the Rosh Hashana service, we have many sets of repetitions of ...
8
votes
3answers
197 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
118 views

What is the precise difference between Kakatuv and Shene'emar and

The davening on the Yamim Nora'im references many verses and the machzor introduces those verses in a variety of ways. A quick glance at the davening for Yom Kippur shows v'ne'emar she'ne'emar ...
7
votes
4answers
171 views

No More Zechuth Avoth?

The Gemara (Bab. Shab. 55a) discusses when Zechuth Avoth ceased. I am aware of several opinions in Tosafoth that it ended for wicked people, or it ended for everyone but the very righteous or it ended ...
7
votes
1answer
110 views

Why is Amen exclusive to the Chazzan during Tefillah?

Normally, if I hear my good friend Shimon say a bracha, I answer Amen. Nonetheless, if it's during davening, and I hear him finish a bracha, it appears to be common practice to not say Amen. In other ...
7
votes
1answer
543 views

Keeping in mind the meaning of every word of prayer, vs. being mindful of general concepts

If I were to sit down with my prayer book, I could translate it. I know what the words mean, and I know what they are saying conceptually. However, when I'm praying, if I try to translate in my head ...
6
votes
4answers
483 views

Seeking a German Siddur

I was wondering if there is a 'Minhag Ashkenaz' siddur presently in print. I have an older one at home, but it has sentimental value and as a university student, I would rather avoid using such a ...
6
votes
2answers
399 views

Not interlacing fingers in prayer

I have heard from an unauthoritative source that one should not interlace his fingers while praying, because, l'havdil, Christians do. Is there any authoritative source for the claim that it's ...
6
votes
3answers
180 views

Can you fulfill the obligation to pray if you can't hear the leader?

The gemorah in Sukkah daf 51b explains that, in the enormous shul in Alexandria, in order for everyone to know when to answer Amen when the shliach tzibbur (prayer leader, aka sha"tz) was davening, ...
6
votes
1answer
381 views

When does a chosson free the congregation from saying tachanun?

A chosson frees the congregation with whom he davens from saying tachanun. What sources are there for this in the following tefillos: Shacharis on the day of the wedding Mincha before the chuppah ...
6
votes
3answers
133 views

Why do we Daven for (יראת שמים) fear of heaven twice?

In the Birchas HaChodesh that we say monthly the Shabbos prior to Rosh Chodesh we say as follows: Chaim Sheyesh Bohem Yiras Shomayim V'Yiras Chet and then in the same paragraph we later say Chaim ...
6
votes
1answer
227 views

Can a man fulfill his obligation by listening to a woman's Birchos HaShachar?

Can a man fulfill his obligation by listening to a woman's Birchos HaShachar (morning blessings)? What about vice-versa? I suppose my question breaks down into three parts: Do women have a lesser ...
6
votes
2answers
743 views

How to pray in public places?

If you're stuck in a public place (e.g. airport, mall) and need to daven (pray) -- usually it's Mincha, right before sunset: what's the best way to do it?
6
votes
4answers
361 views

Priority of Davening with a Minyan

Is it better to Daven [pray] with a earlier large minyan or better to wait to daven later with a much smaller minyan where I will be needed as the tenth?
5
votes
4answers
142 views

Is there a basis for the practice of starting Shmoneh Esreh with the chazzan?

When davening with a minyan which is doing "heiche kedushah," some start saying the silent Shmoneh Esreh together with the chazzan. However, the Rama (Orach Chaim 109:2) says that ideally one should ...
5
votes
1answer
114 views

Why shouldn't we pray outdoors?

In the answer to another question about tefilla, I read: "that it was against halacha to stand outside and daven out in the open under the Kippas HaShamayim [canopy of the heavens]." This is new ...
5
votes
1answer
268 views

Why does shacharit repeat kaddish yatom?

Ashkenazi nussach ends the weekday shacharit service with two kaddish yatoms: one after "Aleinu" and another after the psalm for the day (and seasonal insertions if applicable). Ismar Elbogen's ...
5
votes
1answer
257 views

What exactly do you do and say when you fall Korim?

Some people have a custom of bowing during Musaf on Yom Kippur ("Korim"). What exactly do you do and say when you fall Korim on Yom Kipur?
5
votes
2answers
666 views

Starting Shabbat early during the summer

Is there an earliest time one may begin Shabbat during the summer months? We were traveling south and stopped at a Jewish community for Shabbat. The Shul there davened Mincha friday at 6:10, then ...
4
votes
1answer
132 views

Must I ceremonially dispatch a non-kosher animal meant for Gentile consumption?

I raise non-kosher animals (rabbits) primarily for manure for my garden and fur for clothing. I give the meat away to non-Jews. I understand all domesticated animals are to be humanely killed, ...
4
votes
2answers
154 views

whoever leads s'lichos should lead the rest of the day's prayers: why s'lichos?

Rama 581:1 says whoever leads s'lichos should lead the rest of the day's prayers, and Magen Avraham, followed by others including Mishna B'rura, says this is due to "hamaschil b'mitzva om'rim lo ...
4
votes
3answers
170 views

Sign Language During Davening

Would one be allowed to use fingerspelling to communicate during pesukei d'zimrah (or other parts of davening where one is not allowed to talk)? Would it make any difference if one was ...
3
votes
1answer
181 views

How Should I Pray When Alone?

Using the notes in my Siddurs to direct my prayers, I am trying to figure out exactly what to pray, what is required, what is not permissible, etc., when praying solo. There is not always the right ...
3
votes
2answers
344 views

Should a woman wear a gartel?

My understanding of the halachic need for a gartel is very limited; is there any reason a woman should or should not wear one during prayer?
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Transliteración de la Amidá en Español - Transliteration of the Amidah into Spanish

Estoy buscando una transliteración del rezo Shemoné-Esré en la lengua español. ¿Puede usted, por favor, ayudarme? Yo también quiero los rezos y cánticos para el Shabat. I'm looking for a ...
2
votes
2answers
573 views

How was Tevilas Ezra effective in limiting conjugal relations?

Many go to mikve (perform ritual immersion) every morning. One reason for this is voluntary continuation of a cancelled decree, Tevilas Ezra, meant to limit conjugal relations by requiring immersion ...
2
votes
1answer
211 views

reasons for standing for kaddish

Generally most people stand up to say and to respond to kaddish; why do we do this? Is there anyone with a minhag to sit for either saying or responding to kaddish and the reason behind doing so?
2
votes
1answer
115 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
1answer
154 views

What does “rov am hadrat melech” mean?

I was under the impression that from the literal word for word interpretation, that רוב עם הדרת מלך meant literally most of nation respects the king. Does this mean that it applies when only three ...
16
votes
3answers
307 views

Is there tashlumin for n'ila?

Being that n'ila is a unique prayer, in that it only occurs once a year, can one make up (do tashlumin for) n'ila at the next prayer or the previous one at n'ila?
15
votes
1answer
204 views

Out-of-order minyan participation

Some shuls have several minyanim back to back. If one arrives before the Torah reading of the 8:30 minyan and has finished davening before the Torah reading of the 9:30 minyan (to whose Kedusha one ...
13
votes
3answers
921 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.
13
votes
3answers
240 views

Can I omit ברוך השם לעולם אמן ואמן to catch up in Maariv?

If the Shaliach Tzibbur for maariv (outside of Israel) goes too quickly for me to start the Amidah with him, is there a source which would allow me to omit the section ברוך השם לעולם אמן ואמן? This ...
13
votes
1answer
211 views

How do I say vidui in Selichos in a meaningful way?

We say vidui three times in selichos. Many words are uttered in a relatively short time. How can we do this in a meaningful way that is not "vidui peh"? I have heard tell of one of the gedolei ...
12
votes
1answer
252 views

Why do non-orphans leave during Yizkor?

In all the Shuls (Synagogues) I've Davened in over the years, I noticed that all those whose parents are alive leave the shul during Yizkor. Why is this so?
12
votes
3answers
274 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?
11
votes
1answer
513 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 ...
10
votes
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 ...
10
votes
4answers
299 views

Sitting for “Ashre”?

I have seen people seemingly careful to sit down when beginning the paragraph of prayers that starts "Ashre yosh've vesecha" (Ps. 84:5). One such person told me that he was, in fact, careful to do so, ...
10
votes
4answers
832 views

spitting in aleinu leshabeach

Does anyone know the origin of the custom to spit in Aleinu after the words שֶׁהֵם מִשְׁתַּחֲוִים לְהֶבֶל וְלָרִיק? Where did it start? And in which seforim is it mentioned? I have seen in the ...
10
votes
3answers
257 views

Proper age to take a child to Shul

What is the proper age for children to begin being taken to Shul?
9
votes
3answers
108 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 ...