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

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6
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2answers
810 views

Tehilim HaChida - in the order of the Aleph Bais

I recently came across the Tehilim HaChida which is the entire Tehilim with the Pesukim rearranged in the order of the Aleph Bais by first letter. From the introduction it seems like it is a special ...
5
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7answers
593 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 ...
5
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4answers
246 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
621 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? ...
5
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2answers
271 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 ...
5
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3answers
375 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? ...
5
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3answers
375 views

Which Yochanan Kohen Godol is in Al Hanissim?

In Al Hanissim we mention a Yochanan Kohen Gadol. Since there were several kohanim gedolim named Yochanan which one is this, historically?
5
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3answers
269 views

Morid HaGeshem or Morid HaGoshem

What is the correct pronunciation HaGeshem or HaGoshem?
5
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3answers
133 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 ...
5
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3answers
394 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?
5
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6answers
315 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 ...
5
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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
3answers
208 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
329 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
3answers
141 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
637 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 ...
5
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3answers
299 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?
5
votes
1answer
114 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 ...
5
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3answers
400 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 ...
5
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2answers
123 views

“Poems” in Selichos. Names and structures of Pizmon and Shalmonis. Please explain

What is (1) the meaning of the names and (2) the structure of the “poems” found in Selichos particularly the Pizmon and the Shalmonis. (3) I note that the number of phrases in the first verse of the ...
5
votes
1answer
51 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 ...
5
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3answers
203 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 ...
5
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2answers
127 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?
5
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4answers
120 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
2answers
58 views

Why do Sefaradim skip “Uva LeTziyon” in the house of a mourner?

This morning I prayed with a Sefaradi minyan in which were a few mourners. After Hazarat HaSha"Tz, they skipped Tahhanun and Uva LeTziyon. I can imagine a justification for skipping Tahhanun; but, ...
5
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5answers
2k 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.
5
votes
2answers
144 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
232 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
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6answers
199 views

What is the point of praying if your fate is already decided on Rosh Hashana?

It says in Rosh Hashana " On the New Year, [first of Tishrei] all who have entered the earth pass before Him, one by one, like young sheep, as it says: “He that fashioned the heart of them all, Who ...
5
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2answers
179 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
110 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, ...
5
votes
1answer
437 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 ...
5
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2answers
67 views

Why does the Chatima of a bracha not have malchut?

I was reading some of the laws of brachot and saw this statement: This Hatima, with which we conclude "long" B'rakhot (i.e. B'rakhot which have a lot of text and/or mention several themes within ...
5
votes
1answer
94 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
141 views

Did the Israeli soldiers who were involved in Operation Protective Edge eliminate any parts of davening?

I assume that those driving the tanks, going in the tunnels, and otherwise in immediate dangerous situations either completely miss a prayer, or eliminate parts of it. Maybe they are saying "Havinenu" ...
5
votes
2answers
251 views

Time for t'filah and you don't have a siddur: better to daven from memory or wait (and possibly miss the time)?

If the set time comes to daven (on a weekday, let's say) and you unexpectedly don't have a suitable (or any) siddur,1 does halacha call for you to wait (and possibly miss that amidah entirely), or ...
5
votes
3answers
357 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
631 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
149 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
113 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'. - ...
5
votes
3answers
666 views

Why do we not say Avinu Malkeinu on shabbat?

Just what the title says. I've heard that it's because we don't supplicate Hashem on shabbat, but this seems a little simplistic. What are the issues here?
5
votes
2answers
300 views

Why do men say Shelo Asani Isha, and women say Sheasani Kirtzono?

What is the reason behind, men saying שלא עשני אשה and women saying שעשני כרצונו in בּרכת השחר? Does it mean that men are 'better' than women, as women don't say שלא עשני איש which would make sense? ...
5
votes
2answers
200 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
167 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
96 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
192 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
246 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
88 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?
5
votes
1answer
53 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
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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 ...