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

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12
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1answer
691 views

Praying for rain in the Diaspora

Why on this year (and on other years that precede civil leap years) do we start praying for rain in the Diaspora (by inserting the phrase 'Vetein tal umatar") at maariv of December 5 and not maariv of ...
12
votes
1answer
220 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?
11
votes
8answers
433 views

How do you extend the sound of a daleth in Shema?

How does one extend the sound of the daleth in the echod of the shema as prescribed in OC 61 (6)?. The letter as we say it does not seem to allow extension. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalet ...
11
votes
1answer
488 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
247 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?
10
votes
4answers
728 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
223 views

Proper age to take a child to Shul

What is the proper age for children to begin being taken to Shul?
9
votes
2answers
147 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
355 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
296 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
274 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
832 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
201 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?
8
votes
2answers
140 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
229 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
268 views

Are there any ill-effects for mis-directed prayers?

Inspired by the end of this answer: Just remember that all non-Jews don't follow the Sheva Mitzvot and could [even] be in Avodah Zarah and then would...a blessing [of theirs] matter? It might even ...
8
votes
3answers
152 views

Can you pray something that isn't true or (at least) that the petitioner doesn't believe to be true?

In the Aruch HaShulchan OH 581:4, he writes regarding the selichos we recite before Rosh HaShanah: האחת: דאלו שאינם מתענים, ובהסליחה מוזכר לשון "תענית" או "צום" – לא יאמרו זה, דלא ליהוי כדובר שקרים. ...
8
votes
3answers
281 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
95 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
116 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
3answers
288 views

Praying whilst breastfeeding

If a woman is suitably dressed in a modest manner and is covered to the greatest degree possible, would she be permitted to pray whilst breastfeeding? If yes, would this be reserved for sha'at ...
7
votes
4answers
190 views

Why do we pray for our prayer to be accepted?

The sixteenth blessing of the Shmoneh Esrei says, שמע קולנו...וקבל ברחמים וברצון את תפילתנו: "Hear our voice...and accept our prayer with compassion and favor." It seems redundant and circular to ask ...
7
votes
3answers
239 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, ...
7
votes
1answer
117 views

Can the chazzan use the vernacular quietly?

When saying a private portion of the service, such as pesukei de-zimra, may the shaliach tzibur (aka chazzan, or the person leading services) use English, and switch to Hebrew for the portions said ...
7
votes
3answers
203 views

Is it permitted to have a boy under barmitzvah age sing Anim Zemiros?

Is it permitted to have a boy under barmitzvah age sing the Shir Hakavod (or Anim Zemiros)? Why is it not like any other part of davenning where we use someone over barmitzvah?
7
votes
1answer
176 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
161 views

When to say LeDovid HaShem Ori in a minyan with different nusach

I daven Nusach Ashkenaz saying “LeDovid HaShem Ori” at Shacharis and Maariv. Q1 If I daven Mincha with a Minyan which says “LeDovid HaShem Ori” at Mincha, should I say it with them? (I assume yes, ...
6
votes
1answer
238 views

Why no repetition of the Shema in shul?

We repeat the amida in shul for the sake of those who do not know the amida. We read the birkat hamzaon aloud for the sake of those who do not know the blessings. In both cases, we assume that many ...
6
votes
1answer
194 views

Making very loud drumming noise during davening

Many leaders and congregants in my shul bang with their hands on the shulchan and on their siddurs and stomp their feet in what is supposed to be the rhythm of the prayer's melody. The noise is ...
6
votes
1answer
195 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
118 views

Why do Ashkenazim respond בְּרִיךְ הוּא in kaddish?

Is קֻדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא a translation of הקדוש ברוך הוא? At any rate both expressions are one phrase. Why then in kaddish do we reply with בריך הוא when someone says שְׁמֵהּ דְּקֻדְשָׁא, בְּרִיךְ ...
6
votes
3answers
135 views

Barchu or Kavana

If you are late to Maariv and miss barchu and you normally daven slowly should you... Daven faster, even if it means saying the words with little to no Kavana so that you can say Barchu at the end. ...
6
votes
2answers
363 views

Is repeating the chorus in Lecha Dodi problematic?

Some tunes for Lecha Dodi are conducive to repeating the chorus ("Lecha dodi ...") twice each time. I've noticed that some people, when using one of these tunes, repeat, while others avoid repeating ...
6
votes
2answers
192 views

Avinu Malkienu on Shabbos

Why do we not say Avinu Malkienu on Shabbos and why is the Teffilah of Neilah the exception to this very rule?
6
votes
2answers
175 views

Audio/Video Recordings of Tefilloth/Prayers

Is there any concern with listening to audio/video recordings of Tefilloth (prayers)? If someone hears a recording of a Berachah (blessing), does he have to say 'Amen'? Is he prohibited from saying ...
6
votes
2answers
301 views

Where do Ashrei's intro sentences in the liturgy before Psalm 145 (Ashrei) come from?

The sentences "Joyful are the inhabitants of Your House, constantly praising You. Joyful are the people for whom this is so" preface Ashrei. They aren't in the psalm that David wrote, 145, but a ...
6
votes
2answers
296 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
1answer
145 views

“Hayom yom X b'shabas” or “bashabas”?

A sidur I used this morning had the introductory line of the shir shel yom as "hayom yom sheni b'shabas". When I checked the two sidurim I trust the most for excatitude in these matters, one had ...
6
votes
2answers
169 views

Are you supposed to do the responsive parts of Hallel at the Seder?

At a Pesach Seder, when you get to the parts of Hallel that are done responsively in a congregation, are you supposed to do them responsively? Does the answer depend on how many people are at the ...
6
votes
3answers
192 views

Why do we stand when we do toward the end of Tachanun?

In the Tachanun prayer, it's traditional to sit for most of the core of Tachanun, but then to stand three words into the last paragraph, between "Va-anachnu lo neida'" and "ma na'aseh" ("And we won't ...
5
votes
1answer
52 views

Why are there different intro. prayers for calling the Kohen aliyah on Shabbat vs. weekday?

Prior to calling the Kohen aliyah for Torah reading, there is an introductory paragraph said by the gabbai or ba'al kri'ah. Following is Nusach Ashkenaz as found in Art Scroll and Birnbaum, Ashkenaz, ...
5
votes
2answers
85 views

Prayer of Avraham Avinu at Mount Moriah

On Yom Kippur and in Selichos we pray "The One who answered Avraham Avinu's prayer on Mount Moriah, should answer us". "מי שענה לאברהם אבינו בהר המוריה הוא יעננו". What did Avraham pray for at Mount ...
5
votes
1answer
89 views

Can one be counted in a minyan if one has already davened?

Can one be counted in a minyan if one is present for Minchah/Ma’ariv but has already davened Minchah? Related question: Should I alter my schedule to daven Minchah with a minyan?
5
votes
2answers
197 views

Why haven't I seen the Havinenu prayer in Sidurs?

I was reviewing recently Rambam's laws of prayers and ran across this ( הלכות תפילה פרק ב,ב ): בכל תפילה משלוש תפילות אלו שבכל יום, מתפלל אדם תשע עשרה ברכות אלו על הסדר. במה דברים אמורים, ...
5
votes
2answers
76 views

Tashlumin with a minyan

If a person accidentally forgets to daven during the day, in most cases he has the opportunity to "make up" that davening by saying shmoneh esrei twice in the next davening. This is called tashlumin. ...
5
votes
2answers
128 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
146 views

Can a man miss tefilah with a minyan because his wife is overwhelmed with the children?

Assume a scenario where a man's wife requires extra help at home during a busy part of the day and requests that her husband skip minyan (and daven alone) in order to help her. (For example, let's say ...
5
votes
0answers
62 views

Why does Mishneh Torah have Shem uMalchut for Yishtabach?

I was looking into the Seder haTefillot as well as other siddurim based on it, and something always bothered me about Birkat Yishtabach, which as most of you know "closes" the Pesuqei deZimra section ...
5
votes
1answer
107 views

When the entire Minyan is saying Kaddish

In most Synagogues all those that are required to say Kaddish say it together. If the entire Minyan has to say Kaddish and there is no one who can say Amein what should be done? Should some not say ...
5
votes
0answers
142 views

What should I do if my synagogue faces away from Jerusalem? [duplicate]

Due to an major oversight in its design the synagogue in my home town (London) is built with the Aron facing north west instead of east. A while ago I asked someone about this and they said that it ...