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32

Yes, there is a history of Jewish communities in Arab countries relying on the Muslim call to prayer for their own praying times. For one such example, here is the Ben Ish Hai, (Hacham Yosef Haim) who lived from 1832-1909 in Baghdad, and who refers to the maghrab (an Islamic prayer-time called after sunset) in various places: Ben Ish Hai, Year 1, ...


31

In this interview with Terry Gross (around 5:08), those lyrics' author, Sheldon Harnick, says that he basically made up syllables that he thought would "give the effect" of "Chassidic chanting," despite not being familiar with such chanting from his own background. The first person to play Tevye, Zero Mostel, then replaced the syllables Harnick had written ...


24

Obligatory Summary The Jewish day starts at night, but V'sein Tal Umatar is based on solar calendar, so it can sometimes be a day later. Plus the date was established in Julian Calendar, so there's also the Julian->Gregorian shift to keep us busy... Real Answer The Gemara (Taanis 10a) says that in Bavel we start saying V'sein Tal Umatar on the 60th day ...


19

The "Modim anachnu lach" in davening is a quotation from Divrei Hayamim I 29:13. "L'cha" becomes "lach" because of the etnachta, which is a pause in the pasuk.


18

To add to Jeff's and Josh's points, we find that there are in fact practices in prayer (kneeling, raising our hands) that are attested in Tanach but were later abandoned as Jewish practices, precisely because non-Jewish religions made these parts of their own rituals. How much more so, then, that we shouldn't adopt prayers that they originated!


18

If Pikuach Nefesh pushes off the restrictions of Shabbos, all the more so it pushes off those of Tefila.


17

There is an old minhag Frankfurt to sing the first part of Lekha Dodi, which refers to exile, to a slow tune, and then switching to a happier nigun when switching to nechamah (consolation) about the future redemption at Lo Seivoshi. However, in that minhag, they switched back to the original tune for the last verse, Bo'i Beshalom, which -- like the opening ...


17

The oldest reference to this tradition that I am aware of is the Taz ("Turei Zahav"), by David haLevi Segal, 17th c. הלוחש על המכה או על החולה ורוקק ואחר כך קורא פסוק מן התורה אין לו חלק לעוה"ב One who whispers over a wound or over a sick person and who spits, and who then recites a verse from the Torah has no portion in the world to come. ...


17

In Lma'an Yishme'u #267 (page 2) Rabbi Chaim Hillel Raskin says that it is a Halachic obligation to quiet or turn off a cell phone before starting to Daven. If he did not, and his cell phone rings, he is allowed to quiet or turn off the phone to ensure that no one will be disturbed further. Although he doesn't specifically address a situation where it ...


17

Many synagogues - mainly Orthodox, not specifically Hassidic, light two candles in front of the Chazzan's (cantor's) table. The candles are on during the duration of the prayers and extinguished afterwards. (Some places use electric "candles"; others use wax. I prefer the wax, though it is a bit more dangerous, smelly, and messy.) It has nothing to do with ...


16

The Zohar (Bereishis 84a, citing Psalms 86:16, "והושיעה לבן אמתך") says that it's better to pray using the most definite facts available. There can be a slight chance that the sick person isn't really the son of the man who is assumed to be his father (even though, for halachic purposes, we ignore this possibility and follow the majority - Chullin 11b), but ...


16

As Dov F has noted, the argument over praying in a mosque is now split between R. Ovadia Yosef and the Tzitz Eliezer. Please see the update below regarding the original Rambam responsa that is referred to by R. Ovadia. The Tzitz Eliezer writes against praying in a mosque in his responsa Volume 14, #91: ולמדנו מכאן שהקדשים של כותים וגם המשוגע של ...


15

This was a declaration of loyalty by the Shevatim on Yaakov's deathbed, so it's a worthwhile prayer. But since it's not a verse found in the Torah, we say it quietly (Pesachim 56a) This was a prayer of the angels so it's not appropriate for sinful mortals to say it aloud, except for on Yom Kippur From the Artscroll Yom Kippur Machzor, pp.69-70


15

A famous halachic rule of thumb: If someone has to ask his rabbi on questions of ordinary halacha (not murder or the like) vs. any matter of life or limb, shame on the person asking (duh, go save a life!), and shame on the rabbi who should have made that abundantly clear long ago. So let's get this straight. If a question comes up about violating ...


15

The Shulchan Aruch rules (OC 124:3) קהל שהתפללו וכולם בקיאים בתפלה, אעפ"כ ירד ש"צ וחוזר להתפלל, כדי לקיים תקנת חכמים A congregation which prayed and all of them were adept at praying, even so the leader goes back and repeats the prayer [aloud] in order to fulfill the enactment of the sages. So the Halacha is clear; the question is why? ShmuelBrin ...


15

I'm not widely traveled, but I've been to a bunch of different synagogues of all the major flavors, often as one-offs, including C and MO, so I'm answering on the basis of that experience. First visit You can just show up. Many of the factors that affect you are the same between Conservative and Modern Orthodox synagogues. The Conservative synagogue ...


15

The Gemara in Berachos 10a says that (at the advice of his wife Beruriah) Rebbi Meir prayed for neighbors of his to become religious, and the Gemara seems to approve of this. This is also implied by Sotah 14a, where Moshe is said to daven for the wicked to return, as well as in Taanis 23b, where Abba Chilkiyah says that his wife is more righteous because she ...


14

My rabbi told me a very nice suggestion which seems to help me every time I practice it and it's very simple: Follow along with your finger. If you have your finger below every word that you say, it will make you have to look at the page that you're reading from causing you to slow down and think about the words that you are saying. Even if you don't ...


14

The Shulchan Aruch OC 56:2 says that one says "Amen" after Berich Hu, but the Rema there disagrees and says not to say anything there at all. The Ashkenazim who say Berich Hu at the same time as the Chazzan are following the Taz and the Magen Avraham. Strangely enough, the Shulchan Aruch HaRav also says the same thing. (I haven't seen anyone who follows the ...


14

Ooh, where do I begin? Let me try to compare Jewish and Islamic prayer practices here... Jews require ritual cleanliness for prayer, as Muslims do. While Muslims have wudu and ghusl, Jews simply wash their hands in a prescribed manner: thrice on the right, and thrice on the left. Jews have three prescribed prayer times, analogous to Islam's five. Shaharit ...


14

OC 101 (2) and MB s.k.5 and especially 6. MB: One reason not to raise the voice is not to disturb others. Other reasons are to be like the prayer of Channa; to avoid being one of those of little faith who do not believe that HaShem hears prayers uttered quietly and to avoid being like the false prophets who cry out loud to false gods. But the important ...


14

The Rema 139:11 says To say Chazak from the passuk in Yehoshua that says Chazak vametz .The passuk before it says that Torah should not leave your mouth and it will be a blessing for you. So there are those who say Chazak u'baruch and others answer Chazak vametz. The Kaf Hachaim 139:56 brings down the minhag to say Chazak U'baruch from this Rema.


14

Moreshet.co.il reports: אך האריז"ל הנהיג להוסיף שלשה פסוקים ראשונים ממזמור צ"ה, "לכו נרננה" וכו', כדי לא לסיים בפורענות - "יצמיתם ה' אלקינו", כעין מה שאמרו חז"ל לגבי הפסקה בקריאת התורה: "ואין מפסיקין בקללות", וכן נוהגים בסיום הקריאה של מגילת איכה, שאחרי הפסוק האחרון "כי אם מאס מאתנו" וכו', חוזרים על הפסוק שלפניו: "השיבנו ה' אליך" וכוו, כדי לא ...


13

If I daven for parnassah, probably not. However, for someone righteous enough, maybe, but it can come with a catch. Ta'anis 25a relates this story אמרה ליה דביתהו עד אימת ניזיל ונצטער כולי האי אמר לה מאי נעביד בעי רחמי דניתבו לך מידי בעא רחמי יצתה כמין פיסת יד ויהבו ליה חד כרעא דפתורא דדהבא (חזאי) בחלמא עתידי צדיקי דאכלי אפתורא דדהבא דאית ליה תלת כרעי ...


13

I would suggest sitting towards the front, or somewhere near the amud. Most of the talking usually takes place towards the rear of the synagogue.


13

This is a piyut (liturgical poem) that was composed a few hundred years ago in Tzfat. The chorus does not contain the name of God, nor is this a davar shbikedusha (a prayer that can only be recited in the presence of a minyan - 10 men). There is no problem with repeating the chorus.


13

Per Rabbi Aaron Gamliel in the Sefer Matei Aharon, the words Yitzchok & Rivka = Tefila (יצחק רבקה" בגימטריא "תפלה") and per the Raya Mehemna Zohar Chadash Vol 3, page 223:1 & page 253:1 the Shechina is also called Tefila since the whole purpose of Tefila is to connect to Hashem, like the name Naftali (נפתולי אלקים נפתלתי). In Bereishis 25:21 it says ...


12

According to R' Ari Enkin, writing on Hirhurim: Although there is a widespread custom to change the tune during Lecha Dodi when reaching the stanza of "Lo Tevoshi", it is actually quite unclear where this custom derives from. Some sources even suggest that it is baseless and evolved without reason. I recommend that you read the whole piece and see what ...


12

The minhag is sourced to the Talmud (Kiddushin 29b) that only married men would put the talis over their heads. א"ל מאי טעמא לא פריסת סודרא א"ל דלא נסיבנא Rashi: דלא פריס סודר - כדרך הנשואין שהיו רגילין לכסות ראשן


12

The following are the earliest times, not necessarily lechatechila; Birchos Hashachar- even in the middle of the night, excepting hanosen lasechvi (machlokes) (if you will return to bed there are other modifications) Korbanos- amud hashachar (if they mention the actual korbanos, otherwise you can say them before that) P'sukei d'zimra- amud hashachar ...



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