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

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Effect of Maariv being originally optional

Is there any practical application of the fact that maariv was originally instituted as an optional prayer, and only later became binding because it was universally accepted? Full disclosure: I ...
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4answers
231 views

Is it inappropriate to be overdressed for prayer (davening)?

I know that for prayer (davening), you're supposed to be dressed "appropriately", e.g. not in your pajamas; the rule of thumb I'd heard was "as you normally would when seen in public." (Rabbi Enkin ...
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7answers
491 views

Stepping Back Before Amidah

Why do people step back three steps before the Amidah (as mentioned here in Mishnah Berurah, S'if Katan Gimmel) if the Gemarah only mentions stepping three steps forward? Is there a kabbalistic source ...
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2answers
507 views

Can one pray in front of a mirror?

Can it be considered avodah zarah if one prays while looking at themselves in the mirror? I mean, if you're looking at yourself, is it wrong for someone to think that you're praying to that person? ...
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252 views

Getting “used to” making a change in davening

When we change to saying "mashiv haru'ach" one is required to recite the shmoneh esrei again if he is unsure if he made the insertion. This site points out that one becomes habituated after 30 days ...
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306 views

How to get drunk on Purim and still pray?

There is a halachic problem, as has been discussed previously, with praying while being drunk. If someone gets drunk on Purim, how does he manage to fulfill the mitzvah to pray three times a day? ...
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249 views

Morid HaGeshem or Morid HaGoshem

What is the correct pronunciation HaGeshem or HaGoshem?
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124 views

Does attending a regular shiur take precedence over leading the prayers on a Yahrzeit?

It is a widespread custom to lead the prayers (daven from the amud) on the anniversary of a parent’s death (yahrzeit). Suppose that if I do this for a service on the yahrzeit of a parent it will ...
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353 views

Missing Barchu at Maariv

If one misses Barchu at the beginning of Maariv, should one say it at the end of Maariv (as is commonly done)? If so when should it be done and who should do it?
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240 views

Is B'rich Shmei said while the Torah sits in the Aron, or as it's held (by whom?)

Sing "vayhi binsoa" as the Aron is opened by -- let's call him Mr. Opener Brich Shmei is said Chazan is now holding Torah scroll and says Shema (or Gadlu). I've seen different things happen for ...
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2answers
151 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 ...
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4answers
163 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 ...
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158 views

Which tehillim are best to say for the welfare of soldiers at war?

At least one Israel Defense Forces soldier fighting in Gaza is the son of dear friends of my family. I want to focus my tefilla on his welfare, by name, although I certainly pray for the well-being ...
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3answers
137 views

The Tur's word counts for Shemoneh Esreh

I have often seen the Tur cited as giving exact word counts for each blessing of the Shemoneh Esreh. The arguments I have seen for being careful to adhere to the word counts include that this would ...
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2answers
314 views

Quorum for chazaras hashatz

How many people are needed in order to start chazaras hashatz?
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551 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 ...
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3answers
93 views

Holding a child during bentching,kiddush,havdallah

Is there any reason to say that its problematic to hold a child during bentching and so on... because one is thinking about not dropping what he is holding,like by Shmoneh Esrei (96:1) one should not ...
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266 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 ...
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294 views

Saying selichos before midnight

What is the position with saying selichos (end of Elul and Aseres Ymei Teshuva) with a minyan that starts straight after maariv at say 10:30 or 11pm?
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83 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 ...
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1answer
106 views

why do we start mincha shmoneh esrai differently?

Before reciting the amidah for mincha many nuschot add the sentence כִּי שֵׁם ה' אֶקְרָא, הָבוּ גדֶל לֵאלהֵינוּ before אֲדנָי שפָתַי תִּפְתָּח וּפִי יַגִּיד תְּהִלָּתֶךָ. Why is that sentenced added ...
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320 views

If it's your minhag to daven Hanetz, do you do so even without a minyan?

A friend once told me that if one's minhag is to daven with Hanetz (i.e., starting the Amida prayer at sunrise), and if there's no Hanetz minyan nearby, you should still daven Hanetz, even without a ...
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2answers
157 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?
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47 views

Where is Is. 40:12 used in prayer?

The phrase וְכָל בַּשָּׁלִשׁ עֲפַר הָאָרֶץ from ישעיהו מ יב (used in the haftara of Vaeschanan) is very familiar to me from prayers, and I can't think where it's from. Moreover, Google is not ...
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106 views

Tachanun with No Seats

Many times I'm in Shul and don't have a place to sit for Tachanun. What's proper procedure in such cases?
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197 views

Bending at “s'lach lanu”

I have seen many people bow slightly when striking their chests in recitation of the sixth b'racha of sh'moneh esrei. Is this a custom? Is there a source for it? Anyone whom I've witnessed doing ...
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2answers
141 views

Saying Yekum Purkan after the Minyan is already up to Av HaRachamim or Ashrei

The Halacha is that a individual not Davening with a Minyan does not say Yekum Purkan. Suppose you are in Shul and for some reason the Chazan finished Yekum Purkan and is already up to Av HaRachamim ...
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1answer
219 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?
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889 views

When is the latest time you can daven minchah bedieved?

If you realized that you didn't yet daven minchah and it's past shekiyah, when is the latest that you can begin praying the Amidah? I'm looking for different people's cutoffs.
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122 views

When do you say Hashem sefatai?

Before saying shemoneh esrei we say "Hashem, sefatai siftach u'fi yagid tehilasecha". Are you supposed to say those words A) Before you take the 3 steps back to start your shemoneh esrei B) One word ...
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158 views

Which tefilot you say when your minhag differs from that of the shoul your praying in?

Here is the case: This past Sabbath, at an ashkanazi synagogue, a sephardi comes to pray. This is the synagogue that he normally attends (there are about 20 within 1 sq mile). He prays with the ...
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2answers
246 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 ...
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3answers
90 views

How a couple lines in Alenu fit the pattern

It has been pointed out to me that the two halves of the "Alenu" prayer follow a pretty strict pattern. Each contains eight parallel couplets, followed by a Biblical quote. I broke it all down myself, ...
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1answer
417 views

Rules for Selichot when the minyan isn't complete at start time

If the shul doesn't have a full minyan at the time when Selichot is supposed to start, and waiting for a minyan to gather before starting is not an option, what are the rules for what you say or don't ...
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1answer
87 views

What does Selichot consist of?

In Sephardic tradition Selichot is said from the second day of Elul through to Yom Kippur. I did not practice all this growing up and am trying to understand now. What tefilot make up Sephardic ...
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260 views

multiple versions for Baruch She'amar

Being that Baruch She'amar fell from the sky (as said in the Baeir Heiteiv Orach Chaim 51:1), how is it that the Rambam (seder tefilos kal hashna) has a different version than what we have in our ...
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467 views

Status of feet while making a bracha or davening

In todays day and age where we no longer have homes with dirt floors: do you still need to cover your feet when making a bracha or davening? If so are socks enough? does it depend on the custom of ...
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140 views

Why is Hashkiveinu different?

Normally, if me and my good friend Shimon complete (finish) a Bracha at the same time, I may not say Amen after his bracha. However, if I recall correctly, an exception to this is made by the bracha ...
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1answer
108 views

Why do we Daven for יראת שמים / fear of Heaven?

The Gemara in Nidah 16: mentions the following in the name of Rabbi Chanina: דאמר רבי חנינא הכל בידי שמים חוץ מיראת שמים שנאמר (דברים י) ועתה ישראל מה ה' אלהיך שואל מעמך כי אם ליראה וגו'. - ...
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152 views

Do we say “Ma Tovu” each time we enter the synagogue?

There is a custom to say the paragraph “מה טובו” on entering the synagogue (see “Avodah Shebelev” Rabbi A Z Sternbuch, 5753, page 18). The idea (but without the possuk of “Ma Tovu”) is mentioned in ...
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2answers
224 views

My hands are cold in synagogue. May I put them in my pockets? May I wear gloves?

If my hands are cold when praying in synagogue: 1) may I put them in my pockets? Is it just disrespectful, as I was brought up to think, or are there more important issues? 2) may I wear gloves? ...
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1answer
144 views

Davening from an electronic device?

I have been davening from my ipad using a pdf copy of a siddur I downloaded. However, I wanted to know if this is a suitable alternative for those times when the use of electronic devices is ...
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1answer
84 views

Merit and Ein Mazal L'Yisrael

The Gemara (Shabbos 156b) tells a story with Shmuel and a non-Jewish astrologer named Avlait. They observed people entering a swamp. Avlait said that a certain man would not emerge from the swamp ...
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1answer
185 views

Repeating shmoneh esreh after forgetting an insertion

Why are you supposed to repeat shmoneh esreh on certain days if you forgot to say the special insertion pertaining to that day? If, for example, you realize at the end of shmoneh esre during aseret ...
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3answers
204 views

In an average shul, how long before sunset does a combined weekday Mincha/Maariv service start?

Many shuls worldwide run combined weekday Mincha/Maariv services. How long before sunset do these services tend to start? Please specify a range, measured in "number of minutes". Also, please cite ...
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82 views

Allowed Footwear in prayer

Is there a problem with wearing sandals or Crocs during Davening instead of regular footwear? What is the source for this issue and what is the reason for this issue?
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302 views

Davening not in Hebrew

Isn't it better to daven in your first language rather than davening in Hebrew and only knowing part of what you're sayig?
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167 views

Kadish at the end of Davening

When I am a Shliach Tzibur, and there are no mourners, should I say Kadish at the end of davening? I know there is an opinion in the Shulchan Aruch that says that davening ends with Kadish. Does ...
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118 views

The order of words in the Shemoneh Esrei vs. the order in the prayer of the gabbai

In the first blessing of the Shemoneh Esrei we say that G-d is עוזר ומושיע ומגן - Helper, Savior and Shield, but before the reading of the Torah on Shabbos morning the gabbai recites a prayer which ...
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551 views

Can a non-Jew recite the Shema?

Can a non-Jew recite the Shema and other Jewish prayers? Is there any one which is off limits to non-Jews? Thanks.