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

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16
votes
2answers
643 views

How do you pray for a sick baby who has not yet been named?

Is it possible to say a Mi SheBerach for a sick baby who has not yet been named? If so, how is it done? And if one cannot say a Mi SheBerach, is there another prayer that can be said? What if there ...
14
votes
1answer
777 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
248 views

Who is the composer of Haneiros Halolu?

When we light the Menora we say Haneiros Halolu. Who composed these words?
13
votes
3answers
686 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
1answer
269 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
559 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
481 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
263 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
3k 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 I'...
10
votes
3answers
264 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
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
130 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
1answer
116 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
135 views

Covering eyes for Shma which isn't THE shma

Based on the answer to this question about covering ones eyes for the Shma said early in davening, it would appear that one only covers his eyes when saying the verse of Shma in order to enhance the ...
7
votes
1answer
544 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
173 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
155 views

What does it mean for a mourner to “have a chiuv”?

I have noticed that in many synagogues, before davening, the gabbai customarily asks if anybody "has a chiuv". If there is anybody with a chiuv, he is asked to daven from the amud. The people who ...
6
votes
4answers
369 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?
6
votes
3answers
181 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
231 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
4answers
537 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
415 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
153 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
274 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
117 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
2answers
686 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
2answers
588 views

When does one recite the verses preceding and following the recitation of Tehillim

In most printed Tehillim I've seen there are several verses included that one should say before (Tehillim 95:1–3) and after (Tehillim 14:7 and 37:39–40) completing the recitation of the Tehillim. Are ...
4
votes
2answers
155 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 g'mor"...
4
votes
1answer
134 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
3answers
172 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 hearing-...
4
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?
3
votes
2answers
350 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
184 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
1answer
549 views

What is “ya’aleh v’yavo”?

I am learning about prayer services and was wondering what is "ya’aleh v’yavo" and when do we insert the “ya’aleh v’yavo” language into our davening?
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
84 views

Davening for personal matters on Shabbos

Today we took out 3 Sifrei Torah because it was Shabbos, Rosh Chodesh, and Parshas HaChodesh. Although we open the Ark every Shabbos and that is always a time of Heavenly Mercy, the Sefer Heichalos ...
2
votes
1answer
220 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
2answers
587 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

When can you start Chazarat Hashas?

How many people are needed to start Chazarat Hashas? What about if it's time sensitive, such as people need to go, or there's danger? Nusach: Ashkinaz Davening: Weekday Shacharit People at minyan: ...
16
votes
3answers
312 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
209 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
996 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
242 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
258 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
4answers
5k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
279 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?