I have searched and don’t think this is a duplicate and want to explain why this question is different from this one.

In the above linked question, the answer clearly states that it’s best to daven in Hebrew. However, that question/answer seems to me to be referring to set order of tefillah I.e, shacharit, mincha, maariv.

My question is solely about quick prayers outside of set tefillah. A quick sentence for a personal request? Does the answer given to the linked question apply, or is that only for set tefillah? Is it perhaps better to pray in your native tongue when it’s just a quick personal request? Or is Hebrew still preferred?

  • 1
    What do you mean by "a quick sentence"? Are you asking about one of the blessings one makes through the day (and if so, which one)?
    – rosends
    Commented Jul 15, 2021 at 17:36
  • 2
    Are you asking if Hebrew prayers are preferred to fulfill Mitsvot -vs.- English prayers which help inspire angels in English-speaking regions of HaArets? Commented Jul 15, 2021 at 17:37
  • 2
    Am I right in saying you are referring to making a quick personal request or the like and whether it suffices to say it in English which is your native tongue?
    – Dov
    Commented Jul 15, 2021 at 17:40
  • 3
    @rosends I think he means ad hoc personal requests.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 15, 2021 at 17:41
  • @DoubleAA is exactly right. A quick personal request.
    – user
    Commented Jul 15, 2021 at 20:04

3 Answers 3


Mishna Berura 122:8 says that when asking for personal requests at the end of Shemona Esrei it is preferable to say it in Lashon Hakodesh, but can be said in any language if one isn't fluent in Lashon Hakodesh:

הח"א נכון וראוי לכל אדם להתפלל בכל יום ביחוד על צרכיו ופרנסתו ושלא ימוש התורה מפיו וזרעו וזרע זרעו ושיהיו כל יוצאי חלציו עובדי ה' באמת ושלא ימצא ח"ו פסול בזרעו וכל מה שיודע בלבו שצריך לו ואם אינו יודע לדבר צחות בלשה"ק יאמרנה אף בלשון אשכנז רק שיהיה מקירות לבו.

  • This may be only in the context of the existing Shmone Esrei service?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 15, 2021 at 19:30
  • To add on to the above comment, perhaps it’s different outside the context of tefillah altogether. But perhaps not.
    – user
    Commented Jul 15, 2021 at 20:05
  • At what point in shemonei esrei are u allowed to add in this prayer according to the mishna berura?
    – user25895
    Commented Jul 16, 2021 at 6:16
  • @user25895 all the way at the end, right before yehiyu leratzon
    – Chatzkel
    Commented Jul 16, 2021 at 10:32

From Shulchan Aruch Harav (101:4) it seems that on the contrary - it is more important that a personal prayer be said in Hebrew (if he understands what he is saying), than it is regarding the standard set of Tefillah


Rebbe Nachman miBreslov speaks extensively about the value of davening to Hashem (outside of the set order of tefillah) in your own words and your own language for everything you need. He actually discusses how you should have a set time to be doing this every day. That can be extrapolated to apply to a short one-line tefillah as well.

For example, in Likutei Moharan II:25, he writes:

הַהִתְבּוֹדְדוּת הוּא מַעֲלָה עֶלְיוֹנָה וּגְדוֹלָה מִן הַכֹּל, דְּהַיְנוּ לִקְבֹּעַ לוֹ עַל־כָּל־פָּנִים שָׁעָה אוֹ יוֹתֵר לְהִתְבּוֹדֵד לְבַדּוֹ בְּאֵיזֶה חֶדֶר אוֹ בַּשָּׂדֶה, וּלְפָרֵשׁ שִׂיחָתוֹ בֵּינוֹ לְבֵין קוֹנוֹ בִּטְעָנוֹת וַאֲמַתְלָאוֹת, בְּדִבְרֵי חֵן וְרִצּוּי וּפִיּוּס, לְבַקֵּשׁ וּלְהִתְחַנֵּן מִלְּפָנָיו יִתְבָּרַךְ, שֶׁיְּקָרְבוֹ אֵלָיו לַעֲבוֹדָתוֹ בֶּאֱמֶת. וּתְפִלָּה וְשִׂיחָה זוֹ יִהְיֶה בַּלָּשׁוֹן שֶׁמְּדַבְּרִים בּוֹ, דְּהַיְנוּ בִּלְשׁוֹן אַשְׁכְּנַז (בִּמְדִינָתֵנוּ), כִּי בִּלְשׁוֹן־הַקֹּדֶשׁ קָשֶׁה לוֹ לְפָרֵשׁ כָּל שִׂיחָתוֹ, וְגַם אֵין הַלֵּב נִמְשָׁךְ אַחֲרֵי הַדִּבּוּרִים, מֵחֲמַת שֶׁאֵינוֹ מֻרְגָּל כָּל־כָּךְ בְּהַלָּשׁוֹן, כִּי אֵין דַּרְכֵּנוּ לְדַבֵּר בִּלְשׁוֹן־הַקֹּדֶשׁ. אֲבָל בִּלְשׁוֹן אַשְׁכְּנַז, שֶׁמְּסַפְּרִים וּמְדַבְּרִים בּוֹ, קַל וְקָרוֹב יוֹתֵר לְשַׁבֵּר לִבּוֹ, כִּי הַלֵּב נִמְשָׁךְ וְקָרוֹב יוֹתֵר אֶל לְשׁוֹן אַשְׁכְּנַז, מֵחֲמַת שֶׁהוּא מֻרְגָּל בּוֹ.

Hitbodedut is the highest asset and greater than everything. That is, to set aside for oneself at least an hour or more for secluding oneself in some room or a field, and, using claims and excuses, speak one’s piece with one’s Maker; using words that evoke favor, placate and conciliate in order to entreat and plead with God that He bring one closer to Him—to genuine Divine worship. This prayer and conversation should be in the language one normally uses, one’s native tongue, because it is difficult for a person to say everything he wants to say in the Holy Tongue. Also, being unfamiliar with that language, one’s heart is not moved by the words, as we are not accustomed to speaking Hebrew. But in our native tongue, in which we normally speak and converse, it is much easier and so more likely for one to feel contrition. This is because the heart is drawn to a person’s native tongue and closer to it, on account of his familiarity with it.

And the Sichos haRan 233 (translation by R' Aryeh Kaplan):

שָׁמַעְתִּי מֵאִישׁ אֶחָד מֵאֲנָשָׁיו שֶׁפַּעַם אַחַת דִּבֵּר רַבֵּנוּ זִכְרוֹנוֹ לִבְרָכָה, עִמּוֹ מֵעִנְיַן בְּגָדִים וְאָמַר לוֹ שֶׁעַל כָּל דָּבָר צְרִיכִין לְהִתְפַּלֵּל הַיְנוּ אִם בִּגְדּוֹ קָרוּעַ וְצָרִיךְ לְבֶגֶד יִתְפַּלֵּל לְהַשֵּׁם יִתְבָּרַךְ שֶׁיִּתֵּן לוֹ בֶּגֶד לִלְבּשׁ וְכֵן בְּכָל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה דָּבָר גָּדוֹל וְדָבָר קָטָן עַל הַכּל יַרְגִּיל עַצְמוֹ לְהִתְפַּלֵּל תָּמִיד לְהַשֵּׁם יִתְבָּרַךְ עַל כָּל מַה שֶּׁיֶּחְסַר לוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהָעִקָּר לְהִתְפַּלֵּל עַל הָעִקָּר דְּהַיְנוּ עַל עֲבוֹדַת הַשֵּׁם יִתְבָּרַךְ לִזְכּוֹת לְהִתְקָרֵב אֵלָיו יִתְבָּרַךְ אַף עַל פִּי כֵן גַּם עַל זֶה צְרִיכִין לְהִתְפַּלֵּל וְאָמַר: שֶׁמִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מִתְנַהֵג כָּךְ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַשֵּׁם יִתְבָּרַךְ נוֹתֵן לוֹ בְּגָדִים וּפַרְנָסָה וְהִצְטָרְכוּת חִיּוּתוֹ אֲבָל כָּל חִיּוּתוֹ הוּא כְּמוֹ בְּהֵמָה שֶׁגַּם כֵּן הַשֵּׁם יִתְבָּרַךְ נוֹתֵן לָהּ לַחְמָהּ וְכוּ כֵּן הוּא חִיּוּתוֹ שֶׁנּוֹתֵן לוֹ הַשֵּׁם יִתְבָּרַךְ כִּי מֵאַחַר שֶׁאֵינוֹ מַמְשִׁיךְ כָּל חִיּוּתוֹ עַל יְדֵי תְּפִלָּה מֵהַשֵּׁם יִתְבָּרַךְ עַל כֵּן כָּל חִיּוּתוֹ הוּא כְּמוֹ חִיּוּת בְּהֵמָה מַמָּשׁ כִּי הָאָדָם צָרִיךְ לְהַמְשִׁיךְ כָּל חִיּוּתוֹ וְהִצְטָרְכוּתוֹ מֵהַשֵּׁם יִתְבָּרַךְ עַל יְדֵי תְּפִלָּה וְתַחֲנוּנִים דַּוְקָא וְכֵן שָׁמַעְתִּי אָנכִי גַּם כֵּן מִפִּיו הַקָּדוֹשׁ עַל דָּבָר קָטָן וּפָחוּת מְאד שֶׁהָיָה קְצָת מֻכְרָח לִי וְאָמַר: תִּתְפַּלֵּל עַל זֶה לְהַשֵּׁם יִתְבָּרַךְ וְעָמַדְתִּי מִשְׁתּוֹמֵם כִּי הָיָה לִי לִדְבַר פֶּלֶא בְּעֵינַי לְהִתְפַּלֵּל לְהַשֵּׁם יִתְבָּרַךְ עַל דָּבָר פָּחוּת כָּזֶה וְגַם כִּי לא הָיָה מֻכְרָח בְּיוֹתֵר עָנָה וְאָמַר [בִּלְשׁוֹן תֵּמַהּ]. אֵין זֶה כְּבוֹדְךָ שֶׁתִּתְפַּלֵּל לְהַשֵּׁם יִתְבָּרַךְ עַל דָּבָר קָטָן כָּזֶה ? ! וְאַחַר כָּךְ סִפֵּר מַעֲשֶׂה קְטַנָּה מֵעִנְיַן בִּטָּחוֹן אֲפִלּוּ עַל דְּבָרִים קְטַנִּים מֵאִישׁ אֶחָד מִמֶּזְבּוּז וְהַכְּלָל שֶׁעַל כָּל הַדְּבָרִים שֶׁבָּעוֹלָם צְרִיכִין לְהִתְפַּלֵּל לְהַשֵּׁם יִתְבָּרַךְ וְכֵן מְבאָר בָּאָלֶף בֵּית עַיֵּן שָׁם

The Rebbe once spoke to one of his disciples about clothing. He said, "You must pray for everything. If your garment is torn and must be replaced, pray to God for a new one. Do this for everything. Make it a habit to pray for all your needs, large and small. Your main prayers should be for fundamentals - that God help you in your devotion, that you be worthy of coming close to Him. Still, you should also pray even for these other things. God may give you food and clothing and everything else you need even though you do not ask for them. But then you are like an animal. God gives every living thing its bread (Psalms 147:9) without being asked. He can certainly give it to you that way. But if you do not draw your life through prayer, it is like that of a beast. A man must draw all necessities of life from God through prayer alone."

I once had a slight need for some insignificant thing. When I mentioned it to the Rebbe, he said, "Pray to God for it." I was quite astonished to learn that one must pray to God even for such trivial things, especially in a case like this where it was not even a necessity. Seeing my surprise, the Rebbe asked me, " Is it beneath your dignity to pray to God for a minor thing like this?"

He then told me a short story along similar lines, involving a man from Medzeboz. The main lesson is that you must pray for every single thing. This is also explained in Sefer HaMidot (The Aleph-Bet Book, Prayer A37).

And the Likutei Eitzos Tefillah 25 (translation my own):

. צָרִיךְ לְהַרְגִּיל אֶת עַצְמוֹ לְהִתְפַּלֵּל עַל כָּל מַה שֶּׁחָסֵר לוֹ בְּכָל עֵת, הֵן פַּרְנָסָה אוֹ בָּנִים אוֹ כְּשֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ חוֹלֶה חַ"ו בְּבֵיתוֹ וְצָרִיךְ רְפוּאָה וְכוּ', עַל כֻּלָּם יִהְיֶה עִקַּר עֲצָתוֹ רַק לְהִתְפַּלֵּל לְהַשֵּׁם יִתְבָּרַךְ. וְיַאֲמִין בַּה' שֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ־בָּרוּךְ־הוּא טוֹב לַכֹּל, הֵן לִרְפוּאָה הֵן לְפַרְנָסָה הֵן לְכָל הַדְּבָרִים. וְיִהְיֶה עִקַּר הִשְׁתַּדְּלוּתוֹ בָּתַר קֻדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא, וְלֹא יִרְדֹּף אַחַר תַּחְבּוּלוֹת רַבּוֹת, כִּי רֻבָּם אֵינָם מוֹעִילִין כְּלוּם, וּמְעַט דִּמְעַט הַמּוֹעִילִין אֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ מֵהֶם וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְמֹצְאָם. אֲבָל לִקְרֹא לְהַקָּדוֹשׁ־בָּרוּךְ־הוּא זֶה טוֹב וּמוֹעִיל לְכָל דָּבָר שֶׁבָּעוֹלָם, וְזֶה יָכוֹל לִמְצֹא תָּמִיד, כִּי הוּא יִתְבָּרַךְ בַּנִּמְצָא תָּמִיד: (שם אות י"א)

A person must accustom himself to pray for all that he lacks at all times, be it sustenance, or children, or there is a sick person chas v'shalom in his household who needs a recovery. On everything the main recommendation is to pray to God and to believe that God is good to all. As it says, "God is good to all" (Psalms 145:9), that is, for all things, whether recovery, sustenance, or anything, when one believes so, certainly his main effort is [to pursue after] God and not to run after all various machinations, because most of those will amount to nothing. And a small minority of things that help are known and one is not able to find them. But to call out to God is good and it helps for all things in the world. And this can always be found, because God can always be found.

  • The second source doesn't answer the question it just says that one should daven for even the smallest of things - it doesn't mention anything about what language to do it in?
    – Dov
    Commented Jul 16, 2021 at 14:21
  • Also from where do you infer from the Likkutei Moharan that speaking to G-d in one's native tongue during Hisbodedus can transfer to a small ad hoc bakasha?
    – Dov
    Commented Jul 16, 2021 at 14:23
  • @Dov The sources I provided give the framework for the extrapolation that one's tefillah can be done in an ad hoc way for anything in any language.
    – Yehuda
    Commented Jul 16, 2021 at 14:37

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