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29

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 ...


23

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 ...


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

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.


17

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


15

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 ...


15

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 ...


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


14

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 ...


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.


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

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 ...


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

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 ...


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 ...


13

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 ...


13

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 ...


12

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 ...


12

R' Joseph B. Soloveitchik's understanding of Ne'ila, which I saw in the Machzor Mesoras Harav, is that it's a uniquely dependent prayer whose purpose is to ask God to accept all the other prayers we've engaged in over Yom Kippur. He was confident enough in this understanding that he proposed a practical Halachic outcome: If someone happened to miss all four ...


12

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 ...


12

It all depends on the teen and his/her background. Generally, with teens the issues fall into 1 of 3 categories and sometimes a mixture of the 3: No understanding of the depth/basic meaning of the liturgy (ie. no issues with the concept of talking to God or praying, but an issue with the codified liturgy) Deeper emunah issues (eg. an issue with the concept ...


12

I'm not sure this completly answers your question but it is mentioned in Talmud, Soferim 20:6. http://www.virtualjerusalem.com/holidays/chanukah/maozhan.htm


12

From the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch: ואפילו ללמוד אסור בשעה שהשליח צבור חוזר התפלה "And even learning is forbidden when the Chazzan repeats Shemoneh Esrei. From Daily Jewish Law One should not learn Torah during the repetition of the amidah. There are a few concerns: At least 10 men must pay attention to every word of the amidah; All of ...


12

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. ...


12

Saadia Gaon didn't innovate it. It is based on Berachot 60a: ת"ר הנכנס לבית המרחץ אומר יהי רצון מלפניך יי' אלהי שתצילני מזה ומכיוצא בו ואל יארע בי דבר קלקלה ועון ואם יארע בי דבר קלקלה ועון תהא מיתתי כפרה לכל עונותי אמר אביי לא לימא אינש הכי דלא לפתח פומיה לשטן Our Rabbis taught: On entering a bath-house one should say: 'May it be Thy will O Lord, my ...


12

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 ...


12

In Shulchan Aruch Harav siman 582 sief 3 the Baal HaTanya writes that even if you went home and said 90 times hamelech hakadosh and then were uncertain if you did it right in davening, you still have to recite over shemoneh esrei, and he explains that this is different than mashiv haruach because when you practice saying the brochoh you can't say Hashem's ...


11

There are places that count women to make the minyan; that's a different issue. Aaron's notion of "minyan kavua" sounds familiar; Rabbi Y. H. Henkin has an essay on the topic, if I recall: http://www.amazon.com/Responsa-Contemporary-Jewish-Womens-Issues/dp/0881257826/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1260672749&sr=8-3 UPDATED: Hat tip to R' Yahu ...


11

My understanding has been that a Mechitza is only required for a minyan Kavuah (a minyan that meets regularly at established times and place) While we continue to separate at private irregular minyam from custom and perhaps Tzniut, I don't think the lack of separation would prohibit participating in the Tefillah. In my personal opinion (and you should ask ...


11

If appearing at the minyan without hat would disturb the other people (or their standard practice), then you have a question. Otherwise (e.g. most people at shul don't wear hats), this should be straightforward; daven with the minyan. Shulchan Aruch says "one should strive very much [yishtadel me'od] to daven with a minyan." You won't find anything about ...



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