Is there a source (either for or against) that mentions composing your own Tefillah prayer? Such as a yehi ratzon or the like.

Granted, anyone can daven at any moment for anything they want in any language, but I am asking if there is a source for composing a prayer that you say for yourself regularly.

I can see this as being a good thing or perhaps maybe a bad thing, as to not create a Tefillah that’s not already created by Chazal.

For example, the beginning of the Daily Learning Shmiras HaLashon book consists of a beautiful prayer, albeit written by the Chofetz Chaim. Can mere regulars like us create such prayers?


2 Answers 2


According to the Arokh Hashulchan (OC 119:2), as long as he doesn't regularly add it to the actual blessings of Shemoneh Esrei, it should be fine:

ודע דזה דבר פשוט שלא התירו חכמינו ז"ל להוסיף בשמונה עשרה אלא במקרה כשצריך לזה. אבל להוסיף תפילה קבועה תמידיות בשמונה עשרה – הוא העזה יתירה וחוצפא כלפי אנשי כנסת הגדולה. ועל זה יודה כל תלמיד חכם, וכל אשר יראת ה' בקרבו. ובכן יש לצעוק על המדפיסים שהוסיפו בסידורים ב"שמע קולנו" תפילה קבועה: "אנא ה' חטאתי… אתה הוא הזן ומפרנס…". ורבים מעמי הארץ אומרים זה תמיד ככל תפילת שמונה עשרה, ולבי עלי דוי על המעשה הזה. ושמעתי שכבר הרעיש על זה אחד מגדולי הדור בדור שלפנינו. אלא שבעונותינו הרבים אימסר עלמא בידא דטיפשאי, והמדפיסים עושים כרצונם ואין בידינו למחות. וזה שהביאו מזוהר שטוב לשאול על מזונותיו תמיד אפילו הוא עשיר, או להתודות על חטאיו (מגן אברהם סעיף קטן א') – זהו וודאי כן הוא, אבל לא לעשות נוסחא קבוע בתוך תפילות אנשי כנסת הגדולה. ואם ירצה יכול לומר אותם אחר התפילה, ואחר "יהיו לרצון", ומי ימחה בידו? וכבר אמרו בגמרא דאחר התפילה יכול לומר אפילו כסדר של יום הכיפורים.

Know that it is obvious that our sages, their memory for a blessing, only allowed adding to the Shemoneh Esrei temporarily as the occasion required it. However, to add a regular, fixed prayer in the Shemoneh Esrei is an excessively arrogant and disrespectful [act] against the Men of the Great Assembly [who composed the Shemoneh Esrei]. And regarding this every Torah scholar agrees, as do all in whom the fear of G-d is in their midst. Accordingly, one should cry out against the publishers who have added in the prayer books in "Hear our voices" a fixed prayer: "Please G-d, I have sinned..." "You are the One who feeds and sustains...". Many of the commoners say this [insertion] regularly like all the prayer of Shemoneh Esrei", and my heart is sick upon me over this act. I have heard that one of the leaders of the past generation [protested] loudly over this. However, because of our many sins, "the world has been given over to fools" (see Sanhedrin 46b), and the publishers do whatever they want and we don't have the ability to [successfully] object. [Regarding] this that they cite from the Zohar that it is good to request regularly regarding one's sustenance even if one is wealthy, or to confess one's sins (Magen Avraham 1), this is indeed the case, but not to make a fixed formulation in the middle of the prayers of the Men of the Great Assembly. And if he wants to he can say them after the [Shemoneh Esrei] prayer, and after [he says the completing verse] "May they find favor..." (Psalms 19:15), and [then] who would protest [his doing this]? The [sages] have already said in the Talmud that after the [Shemoneh Esrei] prayer one can say even like the [lengthy] prayer order of Yom Kippur.

  • 1
    related judaism.stackexchange.com/q/86569/759
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 17:08
  • 1
    This might be a seperate question then, and if so, feel free to let me know and I’ll compose it: if the AS says one may not, who holds that one may say these (two additional) prayers regularly and daily?
    – yisrael
    Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 17:09
  • According to the Arokh Hashulchan, at least, no G-d-fearing / Torah scholar says one should permanently add a new formulation to the blessings themselves of Shemoneh Esrei.
    – Loewian
    Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 17:20
  • Upon rereading you comment, I think I perhaps should clarify/reiterate that even according to the Arokh Hashulchan one may say these prayers regularly and daily, provided he does so after the concluding verse of יהיו לרצון and not in שמע קולינו as printed. (Whereas he may insert them in שמע קולינו only if he does not do so regularly.)
    – Loewian
    Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 16:58

The Chazon Ish in Kovetz Igeros Chelek 3 Siman 23 says that one may make up his own short tefilla for his needs and/or a Yehi ratzon and even mention Shem Hashem. Reb Shlomo Zalman in Halichos Shlomo Tefilla chapter 9, archos halacha note 16 says the same thing. (As brought in Dirshu mishna berura 589:2)

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    The question was specifically about "a prayer that you say for yourself regularly". If this answer is about that, it doesn't say so.
    – msh210
    Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 9:14

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