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

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History of Birkas haMinim

What is the history behind the bracha of v'lamalshim? Was there a specific ideology or group that the baracha was targeting? Why would someone davening to Hashem and saying the rest of the barachos ...
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347 views

Black Hats During Mussaf

Lately, I have noticed that many people who wear a tallis during davening will deliberately put on the black hat, which they wore on the way to shul, while still wearing their tallis near the end of ...
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67 views

Learning while the Chazzan recites piyutim

During the Chazzan's repetition of the Shemoneh Esrei, one is generally required to pay absolute attention and avoid learning etc. What about when the Chazzan is reciting piyutim during his ...
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221 views

What should you be doing during the repetition of the Amidah?

I asked a posek once, Rabbi Schabes, if you're allowed to learn torah during the repetition of the Amidah. He said that it's prohibited to learn at this time. What exactly should you be doing if ...
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213 views

Why do we pray for G-d to smash down our fellow Jews?

My question refers to the twelfth blessing of the Amida, which seems to contravene the Biblical mitzva of ahavas yisroel*: "And for the slanderers let there be no hope; and may all wickedness perish ...
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199 views

What do the words מְנָת כּוֹסִי mean in the hymn “Adon Olam”

In Adon Olam some translate the words מְנָת כּוֹסִי in the antepenultimate stanza as “the portion of my cup”. (Wikipedia translates as “Filling my cup” but I do not see that meaning in מְנָת.) For ...
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174 views

Anim Zemiros is highly anthropomorphic; how come we sing it in public?

Shir HaKovod - Anim Zemiros. This is amazingly anthropomorphic and all that without even once the word כביכול (= as if such a thing could be true). Admittedly the references come from texts such as ...
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227 views

Who is the object in Lecha Dodi?

The chorus and multiple verses of Lecha Dodi address a female second person - "Beloved." Who is it? In the final verse, the object is presumably the Shabbat Queen, since we end with "Come O Bride! ...
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333 views

Is Kel Malei Rachamim (memorial prayer) said under the chuppah at a wedding?

I'd seen a book on wedding practices and customs that said if desired in appropriate cases, a memorial prayer ("El/Kel Malei Rachamim") could be said under the chuppah, e.g. a bride/groom who lost a ...
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230 views

When Do We Finish Bowing in the Aleinu?

I have two siddurim, both of which have an indication referring to the beginning of a bow, but neither of which reference when to end this bow. At present I just end it whenever the translated ...
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231 views

Why do we call praying, Davening?

Why do we call praying Davening? What is the source of this word? Where did this originate?
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213 views

Shachris in the Dark

When do people who live in places where it is dark for days Daven Shachris and put on Tefillin? Please provide a source (Mareh Makom).
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219 views

Reaching kedusha during silent shemone esre

When the chazzan starts kedusha in chazarat hashatz while you're davening, are you supposed to answer the chant, continue in your tefilla, or just not say anything?
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232 views

Who (if anybody) requires a minyan for Hallel?

The weekday minyan I go to only says Hallel if there is a minyan present. (I'm talking about for Rosh Chodesh, Chanukah, and chol hamoed; I don't know if their practice differs for chagim but I don't ...
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110 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 ...
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338 views

Praying after the time to say Shema

If you sleep past Sof Zemin Kerias Shema (the latest time to say Shema in the morning) and you are davening by yourself, do you need to make any change to your prayers?
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189 views

Are you yotzei through accented pronunciation?

The shatz in shul seems to have been taught a different pronunciation from what I learned. I learned that the word "קדוש" is pronounced ka-dosh and he said it as "kadoysh." In fact, he inserted a yod ...
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53 views

Saying kadesh and vehaya ki yaviyacha when donning on the tefllin

In most siddurim right after the berachot of the tefillin you will find the two parshiot "Kadesh" and "Vehaya ki yeviacha," which are also contained in the tefillin. Is there an obligation to say ...
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59 views

What does the shaliach tzibbur do if he is stuck by someone behind him still davening?

One is not supposed to take 3 steps back at the end of Tefillah if there is someone davening behind them within 4 amos. (See here for more.) What if the Shaliach Tzibbur is finished davening, and ...
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201 views

Is there a limit to what you can pray for?

Must one, should one, or can one pray every little detail of life? For example, can one pray for his sports team to win? Is there a limit of what to pray for?
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138 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 ...
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222 views

Siddur with lots of white space for notes

I'm interested in making extensive notes on a siddur - for my own use, inspired partially by this recommendation. Are there any editions of the Siddur out there that include a great deal of white ...
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138 views

Tal UMatar - for whom?

According to the build-up in this question the point of Tal UMatar is to pray for good rains in one's local area. The same seems to be assumed in other questions and especially a couple of different ...
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99 views

Father the mercy

Lubavitch prayer books include the words אָב הָרַחֲמִים where other prayer books have אַב הָרַחֲמִים (specifically, in the amida of musaf and mincha of Shabas Shuva, and in a prayer said after ...
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63 views

Acher Kain Versus Acher Kach

It seems there are two Versions of Al Hanissim one says Kain one says Kach which one is right and what is the underlying logic for each?
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42 views

Where did the Rambam get his Biblical structure of prayer?

The Rambam in Hilchos Tefilah 1:1-3 describes the Biblical mitzvah of prayer. In Halacha 2 he writes: ומגיד שבחו של הקדוש ברוך הוא, ואחר כך שואל צרכיו שהוא צריך להן בבקשה ובתחינה, ואחר כך נותן ...
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204 views

Do we have to bring Mashiach?

Clearly, the Messianic Era is something that we should pray for and desire, if we identify with the Torah's way of life. However, is there a specific mitzvah or chiyuv to actually do something ...
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94 views

Thanking God for things

Considering that we do not know God's ultimate plan, and we know that things that seem good now can actually turn out to be for the better down the road, we must also assume that things that seem good ...
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293 views

Why is a prayer leader still removed for omitting V'lamalshinim?

TL;DR The Ashkenazi nusach of V'lamalshinim omits explicit mention of heretics. Therefore, recitation or omission of this blessing by the prayer leader seems to no longer serve as a signal for ...
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83 views

Can we say the “Adir bamarom” prayer after the prayer which we say instead of “Birkat Kohanim”?

Extracted from here: The prevailing custom in the Diaspora to relegate the Birkat Kohanim to the major holidays. After Birkat Kohanim, the congregation silently recites the short Adir bamarom prayer. ...
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503 views

Is there an Artscroll edition of Tikkun Chatzot?

I'd like to start saying Tikkun Chatzot, but I don't think it exists in any of the siddurim I have (Tefilas Shlomo, Schottenstein Ed. Interlinear, Complete Artscroll Siddur). Does Artscroll offer a ...
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326 views

What purpose does the repetition of the Shemoneh Esrei (Amidah) serve?

Does the repetition serve to ensure that everyone present has fulfilled the mitzvah of tefila? If so, does saying "amen" to all of the blessings work in substitution of the silent Shemoneh Esrei, in a ...
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141 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 ...
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156 views

Is it “mechayei meisim UHTTuh” or “mechayeh meisim atTUH” (rav lehoshia) in shmoneh esrei?

I've seen both pronunciations (at the beginning of the second bracha in shmoneh esrei): Aleph-patach, tav-kuhmuhtz, heh (implied stress on second syllable) Aleph-kuhmuhtz-meseg, tav-kuhmuhtz, heh ...
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664 views

Is Muslim prayer rooted in Jewish prayer? [closed]

Is there any evidence that the practices required by Muslim prayer spring from similar practices in Jewish prayer? E.g. happening 5 times daily, involving bowing
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133 views

Davening Twice by Mistake

What should one do if he mistakenly davens (e.g. Mincha) a second time, and remembers half way through Shemoneh Esrei?
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144 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 ...
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1answer
102 views

Why don't we add in other korbanot on holidays?

In the shacharit davening, we say a section called "korbanot" and in it, we recount the incense offering and the different types of sacrifices made in including the tamid, continual offering. On ...
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290 views

When is Musaf said?

When is the Musaf said? I know it is part of the Shacharit service. I mean when as in what holidays, fast days, etc... Would you say it on Tisha B'av for example. If not, why? At the end of ...
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144 views

Repeating words in prayer

If I have a lapse in concentration during a few words in davening, it improves my davening tremendously to be able to go back and force myself to immediately say those words again, properly. I find ...
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3answers
201 views

The dagesh in “elo-ha” means what?

I'm not so clear on the use of the dagesh as a point of definition -- I understand some fo the pronunciation issues but not all of them either so I would appreciate any help here. I recall learning ...
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109 views

Bird droppings invalidating location for prayer?

One may not pray near feces or other sources of biological waste and decay that give a foul odor (see the article for several opinions on when/how it applies). Does this include bird droppings? ...
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112 views

Tefillat Nedava on Yom Tov

In general, one can pray an extra shmoneh esrei beyond the regular shacharit-mincha-maariv if one wants to do so. This is called a tefillat nedava -- a voluntary prayer. I know that one cannot do ...
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86 views

In Nishmas, what is “and sustained us in plenty” doing amongst times of trouble?

In Nishmas said on Shabbos and Yom Tov mornings we say, “you redeemed us from Egypt and delivered us from the house of bondage; you fed us in famine” (all describing times of trouble) “and sustained ...
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1answer
624 views

Mashiv HaRuach - V'Sain (veten) Tal Umatar

Why do we start saying Mashiv HaRuach on Shemini Atzeres yet we do not say V'Sain Tal Umatar until Dec 4 / Dec 5 (In Chutz L'Aretz)? Why should they not be on the same day when they are similar ...
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1answer
71 views

Why do we say “Shmini Atzeres Hachag Hazeh”?

On all Yomim Tovim we say "Chag Hassukos Hazeh" or "Chag Hamatzos Hazeh" but on Shmini Atzeres/Simchas Torah we say "Shmini Atzeres Hachag Hazeh" going in a different order. Why do we change the order ...
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157 views

Who wrote the piyutim of Rosh Hashana/Yom Kippur?

I don't know if they are technically called "piyutim", but there is a nusach we say on Rosh Hashana/Yom Kippur between "Ata Kadosh" to "Hamelech Hakadosh". Was that decreed by the Anshei Knesses ...
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213 views

Alos Hashachar on a flight from Israel to Toronto

What time will a person cross alos hashachar (first light of the sun) if he is flying from Israel to Toronto on the night of the fast of the 17th of Tammuz? The flight leaves Israel at one in the ...
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652 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?
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167 views

Lishem Yichud on Mitzvos

Should Leshem Yichud be said before Mitzvos or not?